“Oh there’s no place like home for the holidays….” an opening line from a well-known song resonates in my head. As much as holidays are about family, home, and making memories, sadly many this year no longer have a home to which they can go.
Devastating hurricanes impacted states along the Gulf Coast and Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea and fires in California. Nevada, Arizona, Washington, Oregon and Montana have destroyed homes, belongings, and most sadly resulted in the loss of many lives.
Organizations are on overload for demands for even basic needs of water and food, let alone clothing and household items. Donated items may pour in but many are discarded due to their lack of serviceability. In addition, the actual items must be sorted and then distributed if useable. But that should not deter anyone from considering donating items and finding a way to get the actual items to those in need if fairly local to you.
If you don’t have items you can donate, local organizations to the communities and people affected can always use a financial donation. Just make sure that the organization is legitimate and that your kindness will reach those truly in need.
Many local pet shelters received animals from these devastated areas, so again, a shelter or rescue local to you can always use supplies of food, blankets, treats, and cleaning items. Just check with them to make sure your intended gifted items are acceptable.
A natural disaster is not the only cause for a family or individual to not be able to celebrate a holiday. There are personal disasters such as illness, injury, death, loss of a job, loss of a business, or divorce that prevents families or individuals from having a happy holiday season. If you know of someone personally, find a way to help without them feeling badly about their situation.
Food banks can always use non-perishable items. Organizations that support children’s needs throughout the year are also places to consider donating new toys, books, clothing, games, and money to help them in their quest to bring a sense of caring and joy to those that are in need.
One often forgotten population are our elders. Many in nursing homes may have no family members to support their needs. A gift basket of personal care items, or other small token gifts can really brighten their season.
Local homeless shelters are also appreciative of basic items for hygiene, socks, underwear, and outerwear for the communities they serve, as are food items and nutritious snacks that they can distribute to the often marginalized and forgotten souls.
If you are blessed enough to gather around your holiday table, with family, friends, food, and love, imagine the additional joy you can experience knowing you helped someone that may be helpless and hopeless at this time of year.
Some of the greatest gifts one can give to another human being or animal are kindness, compassion, and hope. Blessings shared with those less fortunate are more often than not exponentially appreciated by the recipient and many times exponentially rewarded to the giver.
Wishing you health, your happiest and most blessed holiday season, and living your best life.