Christmas is still well over a month away, but the season of giving is upon us.
Giving to charity should be a year-round endeavour, but it does have a special meaning as the Christmas holidays approach.
In all the holiday hustle and bustle, it can’t be forgotten that the true meaning of the holiday season is in how we give to others less fortunate.
Not everyone will have a pile of gifts laid under a tree with care on Christmas morning or a bounty of holiday treats and favourites.
For families facing hardship, for parents struggling to feed their children on low-paying jobs, for people trying to keep a roof over their heads, it can be hard enough to have the basic essentials, without worrying about presents and big turkey dinner.
Foothills charities have reported big increases in the need for help since Alberta plunged into recession and, though economic fortunes are starting to repair, the need is still great.
Something as simple as donating cash, food, toys and other basic necessities can make a big difference. Even gift cards for grocery stores or gasoline can help to free up funds in limited budgets and bring peace of mind that could help families focus on other areas.
The Foothills is blessed with a myriad of charities ready and able to lend a hand at this time of year, from food banks to the Salvation Army, from The Magic of Christmas to It Takes a Village.
These organizations and many others provide people with the basics and the holiday extras that many of us take for granted at this time of year.
They need us to be able to do the job that they do.
After all, this is what Christmas is really about – charity, kindness and goodwill to all.
It’s also something to remember all year.