Sunday, February 25, 2018

Editorial: To usher in this season of giving, consider this

Nov. 14, 2017 at 12:29 a.m.

It's unfortunate how the annual ringing of the bell outside Walmart or Kroger can easily blend into the white noise of the season as we amble about with our gifts and groceries on the way to the next errand.

Charity has become so synonymous with the season — like Santa or mistletoe — that perhaps we've forgotten to believe in it, too.

One such annual charity is Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization. This organization sends small shoeboxes packed with clothes, toys, games and coloring books for the less fortunate. The organization has delivered more than 146 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories since 1993.

The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Drive started in the late 1800s as a way to fund feeding 1,000 of San Francisco's poorest on Christmas Day. The tradition has continued for more than 100 years as the Salvation Army now helps more than 4.5 people each year.

But these organizations are not just in action during Christmastime. During the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, both charities responded.

The Salvation Army deployed more than 90 mobile feeding units to Texas, and worked to train even more disaster workers in the area.

Not to be outdone, Samaritan's Purse disaster relief units began the trek to Texas the same day the Category 4 storm hit; more than 10,000 volunteers from the organization worked in multiple locations across our flooded state to try to answer the more than 4,900 homeowner requests for help.

This year, instead of just handing out the change in your pocket when you pass a red kettle, perhaps consider volunteering to ring the bell yourself. Instead of just saying an idle prayer for the less fortunate, maybe pack a shoebox full of necessities to be delivered to a child in need.

It's the best way to help usher in this season of giving.



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