‘Tis the Season to be Giving

Madison Olson

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It’s the busiest time of the year; families are picking out the perfect Christmas tree. Stores are packed with those who are making sure that gifts are bought for everyone on their lists. Kitchens are filled with enticing, delicious smells of goodies for all to enjoy. This sounds like the lives of many of us right now.  

Now, imagine not having any extra money or not even having a home; there would be no Christmas tree to pick out. No money to shop or buy memorable items for the ones we love. Instead of warm cookies fresh from the oven, a visit to the kitchen of a shelter, a soup kitchen or maybe not even getting a meal at all.

This is the season to be giving! Giving doesn’t mean that one has to provide any monetary aid; it can be something as simple as donating time.  One can volunteer by working a shelter, serving meals, sorting through clothing and helping organizations that help the less fortunate, to be able to serve these individuals more effectively.   

In Suwannee, Columbia, Hamilton and Lafayette counties, there are more than 1,000 unsheltered, homeless individuals, according to the Florida Coalition for the Homeless. Local churches, organizations such as Vivid Visions and United Way, are just a few that help these people. They provide clothing, food, toiletries, blankets and pillows, a listening ear, or maybe even a kind smile on a gloomy day.

Without the assistance of these local resources and the aid of volunteer assistance in giving back to the community, helping the homeless survive would be impossible. Giving is easy, and homeless is not hopeless. Mother Teresa once said, “Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”  

When thinking of what to give this season, remember, the commitment to make a difference in another’s life may not cost a thing. Reach out to local community advocates and churches to see how you can help! It’s easier than one may think!

 

Resources:

Suwannee Democrat

State of Florida: 2016 Homeless Report

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‘Tis the Season to be Giving