Don’t lose sight of others this season

Nov. 29, 2013 @ 02:18 PM

Coming off what is possibly gastronomes’ favorite holiday in this country and heading full tilt into the holiday season of giving, it can be easy to lose sight of what is at its heart. After all, we saw holiday sales begin before the turkey was on the Thanksgiving Day table Thursday. Among the store deals and lists of things that we, our friends and family members are hoping to receive, it’s easy to forget to take a moment to be thankful for what we have instead of just wanting more.

There’s nothing to make you appreciate what you have, though, like exposure to true need. Many people do a great deal to help others, both year-round and during the holiday season. They should inspire the rest of us to join them.
If you are looking for an opportunity to share some joy with people who need a little extra help this year, opportunities abound.
For instance, there’s the Durham Rescue Mission, which year-round assists some of our community’s most vulnerable residents, and during the holidays provides Christmas gifts for children. The Rescue Mission needs toy donations to help make sure there are presents for children who otherwise might not receive any.
The Volunteer Center’s annual Share Your Christmas program matches people who want to help with low-income Department of Social Services clients. In addition to helping families with children, this program also assists elderly and disabled low-income residents, populations sometimes overlooked during the holidays. The Herald-Sun publishes information about some of the people the program serves. Look for it over the next several days.
The Durham Partnership for Children conducts an annual holiday book drive to get reading materials into the hands of low-income children.
And the list goes on. We know we are leaving out several excellent organizations who do much to help the community – the programs are too numerous to name. But that means for those who want to help, there are myriad options.
Taking the time and spending the money to pick up one more toy, book, a pair of bedroom slippers or a box of chocolates for many of us is a very small sacrifice. But for the recipients, knowing that someone cared about them and wanted to ensure they had a little something special this holiday season, it is invaluable. And just like the Grinch, for the giver who remembers others this season, your heart just might grow three sizes that day.