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Our View: Give back this holiday season

Posted: December 4, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Updated: December 4, 2011 8:51 p.m.

Sweaters are out in force, pumpkin patches have transformed into tree lots and our calendars are getting very thin, which means that the holiday season is upon us yet again.

As retailers have created shopping frenzies to drum up that ever critical year-end revenue, for the first time in decades fewer people than ever are able to get swept up in the collective merriment of colorful lights and all that the holiday seasons brought during the boom years.

Times are tight — not many are immune from that fact and very few have not been impacted by the economy in some way, shape or form. Most have felt the sting of a lingering recession. Some, more than others.

It is also a fact, however, that all of us can help in some way. Help is not defined by how small or large the aid is; witness the massive fund drive for the impoverished nation of Haiti after a massive earthquake struck the Caribbean island Jan. 12, 2010.

Reportedly, more than $1 billion was raised by charities for relief and recovery efforts, some of that by millions of people merely sending a text message committing as little as $10.

Within four days of the quake, the Red Cross alone confirmed that the mobile giving campaign hit the $7 million mark, shattering any pervious fundraising records reported by the organization.

So, helping others desperately in need of a lending hand does not need to represent a big donation, help can come in small doses. Collectively, small amounts can become record shattering assistance.

While many of us are juggling how to cover the costs of a holiday season for our family, many others are facing a day without food for their children or shelter from the winter weather.

And while many large organizations get in the spirit of collecting donations for those in need, and we applaud each and every one of those efforts, we encourage you to focus on help that goes directly back into our own backyard and into our community of families.

Donate any amount of money you can to a local charity, buy a toy for a child, drop off a few cans of food, donate shoes at any of the three city libraries or simply donate a few hours of your time to a worthy charity.

While some might be going to sleep with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads, there are parents and children locally who facing an even bleaker holiday season if the local charities and winter shelter, with significantly depleted and slashed budgets  don’t find the means to provide to those in need.

While the giving season happens to take place during the same time as large religious holidays, that does not mean that it’s a religious obligation — it’s a human obligation.

Whatever your beliefs, redeeming your neighbors’ faith in humanity is a priceless gift for the holiday season.

We urge everyone in Santa Clarita to reach into their pockets, and cupboards at home, and find a way to give back to our community. An investment of any kind — monetary or otherwise — in the SCV is an effort to improve the quality of life where you live.

As the old saying goes: Charity begins at home.


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