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Our Opinion: A charitable season

Published 9:23am Wednesday, November 20, 2013

As the holiday season nears, it is prudent to share with others the benefits of sharing with others.

Charity is one of the biggest virtues celebrated during Christmas, and the next few weeks are among the busiest times to donate to area nonprofits and charities designed to help people. We commend those who have taken the time to donate money or products to groups like the United Way of Mower County and the Salvation Army, and we encourage residents to give of their time and resources as much as possible, especially over the next few weeks.

Nonprofits survive to help communities based on the generosity of others. There simply isn’t enough government funding to go around, and private institutions can’t always connect with on-the-ground groups helping the area. That’s where residents come in, whether it’s donating food items to the Salvation Army Food Shelf or donating part of their paycheck to the United Way, among other worthy organizations.

The United Way uses all of its funding earned in a months-long campaign in the fall and winter for an entire year’s worth of help to area nonprofits, which then connect residents to vital services like dental cleanings and decent health care. Recently, the United Way has focused on education efforts, to help increase opportunities for Mower County youth, and to help train and retrain area adults for better jobs and higher pay.

Let’s not forget the Salvation Army, which relies heavily upon the kindness of others to provide meals to needy families in Mower County. With about 1 in 6 Mower County residents living at or below the poverty line, a service like a local food shelf is necessary help.

But there are plenty of other causes to help, as well. The Hormel Institute will always accept donations to help breast cancer research, as will organizations like Walk for Life, March of Dimes, and the American Cancer Society. Numerous aid groups are seeking help for the Philippines, which was recently struck by a terrifying tropical storm that has left hundreds, perhaps thousands, dead among millions of dollars in destruction.

And those are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg of causes to support.

That’s what makes charity so powerful, as donations really do make a difference for these groups, and for the residents they serve. So follow the holiday spirit this year, and find a way to give a little more. After all, sometimes people need a break, and a simple donation can stretch far more than some residents may comprehend.


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