By Brynn Abernathy
If you celebrate Christmas like my family does, then you know that the Christmas season is upon us. Many of our minds are preoccupied with glittering lights, warm fires, Christmas carols, holiday recipes and gift ideas. In the busyness and excitement of the time of year we often forget that many do not have trees decorated in sparkling ornaments, stockings hung from the mantle, piles of neatly wrapped gifts, a holiday feast on the table or even a home to celebrate in. Many go without the simple blessings that so many of us may take for granted or are facing hardships that are unimaginable. However, there are many ways to help the less fortunate this Christmas season and all year round. Christmas is truly about giving and not receiving.
The Salvation Army is a charity often associated with this time of year due to the Santa Clauses ringing bells for donations. The Salvation Army has 7,546 centers across America. During Christmas, the donations in the red kettles go to needy families, seniors and the homeless. According to salvationarmyusa.org, the money donated provides Christmas dinners, clothing and toys for families in need. The charity also works to provide gifts to those in hospitals and nursing homes and homeless shelters across the United States.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is another wonderful charity to support. The donations received by St. Jude ensure that the families of the patients do not have to pay for any treatment if they are not able to. Giving to St. Jude’s helps brighten the Christmas of many brave children fighting unbelievable battles and their families. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital does not make families pay for any treatment they receive so donations are what make their work possible.
Local charities are also a great way to shine a light for those in dark times. Many churches and local organizations and businesses have food and toy drives that are very helpful to the needy in our community. The Cooperative Ministries here in Sterling is an organization that you can donate to and volunteer with to make a difference. Angel Trees are also great ways to help out struggling families in our own community.
So this Christmas season, the next time you see Santa ringing a bell give what you can because it is possible to impact those around us for the better. There are so many who go without the things we may see as insignificant. Give not only during the Christmas season, but all year long. Each of us has the opportunity to take what we have been blessed with and to becomes a blessing to others and that is all it takes to shine a light in the darkness no matter what the season.