Time, compassion make the holidays

Published 8:49 pm Thursday, November 29, 2018

Christmas is one of the most loved holidays during the year. People start celebrating months ahead of time by decorating in November and turning on the Christmas music any time the temperature drops below 50 degrees.

Celebrating is great, even when you start obnoxiously in September, but many of us get so wrapped up in holiday cheer, peppermint-flavored coffee and ugly sweaters that we forget not everyone has the chance to revel in the holiday experience.

While the need never stops for those experiencing any kind of hardship, those hardships are only magnified when the winter holidays roll around.


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People without homes are often left in the cold. Patients stuck in hospitals are lonely. Parents working three jobs can’t buy presents for their children. The list goes on and on.

Since the need exists all across the country, there are plenty of ways to help. Probably the easiest and sometimes most effective way to help is by donating toys or money to organizations.

Obviously, the Suffolk Cheer Fund is a great local place to start. The fund spends tens of thousands of dollars every year to ensure children in need have presents on Christmas morning. The goodies are distributed to parents at the Salvation Army.

To donate to the Cheer Fund, send a check to P.O. Box 1220, Suffolk, VA 23439, or bring it to our office, 130 S. Saratoga St., from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

To list every charity that will take donations would take forever, but there are options both locally and nationally.

Sometimes our wallets won’t allow us to help charity organizations financially, but that doesn’t mean the good has to stop. Your time is just as valuable as the cash in your wallet, and the experience is even better.

Local organizations like the Coalition Against Poverty in Suffolk always needs more volunteers, especially during the winter months. CAPS holds a Night Stay program in conjunction with local churches, and volunteers are needed to help cook meals or just be at the church when the guests are there.

The easiest way to get involved is contact one of the churches on the list and find out how you can help. More information is on their website at capsuffolk.org/night-stay.

While time is valuable to charities, not everyone has the time to dedicate a few hours in one sitting for a charity.

Using your skills can provide organizations with just the help they are looking for. Some people have the amazing ability to fundraise for money or items.

While you might not have much of your own funds, sometimes your time is all that an organization needs.

Christmas can be a bit selfish and superficial, but all it takes is just a bit of your time and compassion to make it a great holiday season.