Remember the less fortunate in this giving season

Published 8:22 am Monday, November 19, 2018

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
Thanksgiving is just days away, and right behind it is Christmas.
According to some, the holidays in December is a wonderful time of year: a time to spend with family and friends. To celebrate the good. To reconcile the bad and make resolutions for the new year.
Many of us take the time to count our blessings. While it’s nice to buy gifts for family, one big way to “give” this holiday season is to give to someone we might not know.
The Salvation Army kicked off its Angel Tree Campaign Thursday in Elizabethton. The program allows individuals to personally buy for children, who may not be in as fortunate of a situation as other kids this holiday season.
In Carter County, a total of 612 children have been signed up for the program.
In addition to the Angel Tree, there are many giving opportunities this season, including food baskets for those in need, which are given by ARM, Hale Community Ministries, and various other organizations.
“Adopt” a child and buy them gifts. Children, signed up on the Angel Tree program, usually create a wish list and a donor can buy them some gifts that create holiday cheer.
Some businesses and organizations are inviting you to adopt a senior this holiday season, among them Northeast Community Credit Union and Lowe’s. Don’t only buy them a gift, but visit them. Many of the elderly in nursing homes would enjoy a visit this holiday season.
If you don’t have money to give, give of yourself. The Salvation Army every year needs bell ringers to stand in front of stores and remind shoppers caught up in the frenzy of the season that their dollars and cents could be used to help the less fortunate.
There are also ways to help others even if you don’t feel you have the financial means. Bake some cookies for your local police force, EMS services or firefighters. Take it to their office as a way to say thank you for their service.
Be kind! People get stressed during the holiday season. Even though you might be too, taking the extra time to smile at someone or ask them how they’re doing goes a long way.
Give a Christmas gift to your mail carrier. That individual manages to get your mail to you every day of the year — snow or shine. By simply giving them some tea or writing a card is a small gesture that can go a long way.
Donate your old coats to the Salvation Army or Goodwill. Winter is cold in East Tennessee. By giving that coat that sits in the back of your closet to a local charity, this can help ensure someone else stays warm throughout the holiday.
Talk of the holidays is often dominated by commerce. What stores have sales? Where is the best deal on this or that newfangled gadget? How much did you spend on that?
But the reason for this season has nothing to do with economic stimulation, as much as businesses may need and rely upon it. No, the real reason for the season is the shared bonds of humanity. The way in which we all come together on holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and others to mark rebirth, renewal and hope for the future.
The holidays aren’t about presents, or how much you can buy. It’s about caring for others, kindness, love and decency.
Giving to others could be someone else’s greatest Christmas gift this season. There are so many needy and lonely in our midst.

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