Remember the less fortunate this holiday season

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, December 6, 2022

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
According to some, that’s what the holidays in December mean to them: 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.
Here’s hoping that as we begin — or ramp up — our shopping for Christmas, we will remember those less fortunate.
As you ponder what you’ll get or give for Christmas, we’d like to ask our readers to take some time and think about those doing without this year.
As a community newspaper, we see all too often the struggles others must endure, fires that leave people with nothing, accidents and illnesses that leave families with unimaginable medical expenses, circumstances that lead to homelessness and hunger.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to help those in need in our community. Many churches and organizations are providing gifts for families who might not otherwise be able to afford gifts to put under the Christmas tree. The Salvation Army is out in force with its Red Kettle campaign. When you see a bell ringer at the local Walmart, stuff a few dollars in the red kettle. There is also the Adopt the Angel tree program sponsored by the Salvation Army. In a typical year, the Salvation Army tree program puts new clothes and toys under the tree for one million children who usually must go without Christmas presents. If you can’t adopt an angel, donate your time as a Salvation Army bell ringer.
There are other programs to give to — the Assistance Resource Ministry (ARM) and Hale Community Ministry. Both provide food and clothing all year long to families in need.
While giving is one of the best parts of the holiday season, it’s also important to remember that the need exists throughout the year. Donations local organizations receive as part of holiday giving usually don’t cover all the food, clothing and other needs that will arise once all the decorations have been put away.
So, we urge our readers to maintain your commitment to giving throughout the year. The holiday spirit that warms your heart this time of year needs not be limited only to the holiday season.
“Adopt” a child and buy them gifts. Many churches and non-profit organizations “adopt” children who are in hospitals over the holidays. Participate in this. The children usually create a wish list and a donor can buy them some gifts that create holiday cheer.
There are also ways to help others even if you don’t feel you have the financial means. Volunteer at a soup-kitchen that serves Christmas dinner.
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 your 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.
Regardless of the means, giving to others could be someone else’s greatest Christmas or Hanukkah gift this season. Some are less fortunate.
While giving is one of the best parts of the holiday season, it’s also important to remember that the need exists throughout the year.

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