Share the spirit of the holidays

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 28, 2004

As expected, Americans descended on the malls and discount retailers on Friday to begin their Christmas shopping.

While it’s great to see the local economy get a boost, once again this year, we’re asking you to pull back a little and share some of the blessings God has bestowed upon you with those in our community who need your help.

The holiday season calls upon us to awaken the charitable impulse. It’s the one time of the year many of us break our routines of ignoring the needs that exist in our community.

Email newsletter signup

Most of us have plenty for which to be thankful and live reasonably comfortably. There are many in Suffolk who do not.

From the United Way – somewhat short of its local goal this year – to the Cheer Fund, the Salvation Army and the Suffolk Homeless Shelter, there are many agencies that focus their efforts on the poor, allowing the rest of us to go about our business. However, without these agencies and the services they provide to the help the city’s poor, the struggles of the poor to buy food, pay rent and care for children while holding down a job would likely overwhelm our capacity.

As such, it’s critical that we awaken that impulse and give to our local charities.

President Bush on Saturday also issued the call to give.

&uot;We also recognize the duty to share our blessings with the least among us,&uot; the president said Saturday in his weekly radio address. &uot;Throughout the holiday season, schools, churches, synagogues and other generous organizations gather food and clothing for their neighbors in need. Many young people give part of their holiday to volunteer at homeless shelters or food pantries.

&uot;On Thanksgiving, and on every day of the year, America is a more hopeful nation because of the volunteers who serve the weak and the vulnerable.&uot;

Enjoy the holidays. Shower your loved ones with gifts, but don’t forget the many in our community who are unloved and helpless. They are counting on you. Share the spirit with them.