Helping through the holidays

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The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army helps collect toys and homegoods for families in need.

Current holiday wish lists are filled with new devices and accessories as technology continues to develop. Rather than focus on what you will receive, fill your December days with service toward others! In the Raleigh area, there are plenty of charities to get involved in.
With roughly 43 million Americans on food stamps, 16 million of those being children, food is more scarce during the winter, especially for kids who rely on school meals to receive proper nourishment. More than 500,000 people are homeless in the United States. Approximately 70 million stray animals currently roaming the streets, with only six to eight million making it into shelters. Plenty of work needs to be done to assure safety, warmth, and satisfaction this winter.
Many organizations provide opportunities to get involved in, such as the Salvation Army, Note in the Pocket, Santa’s Elves, InterAct Holiday Bazaar, Urban Ministries, Raleigh Rescue Mission, Helping Hand Mission, St. Jude, United Way of the Greater Triangle, and the SPCA of Wake County.
“People who don’t have money or family need support and should know that their life matters. The holidays are a good way to remind them to keep working to improve their lives,” stated Sanderson senior Julianna White.
Aid is also needed worldwide right now. Hundreds of Nigerian captives are being forced as slaves in Libya, while over 80% of children in Yemen are facing severe malnutrition. People often blame their bustling holiday schedules as excuses to resist charity work, but a simple donation to the SPCA or a 30 minute visit to your nearest homeless shelter can truly pay off as you spread holiday cheer.
Getting caught up in the lights, presents, caroling and gingerbread is respectable as long as we do not forget what the holidays are about, giving from within. As the Grinch once so wisely put “maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!”