Better to give than to receive

Nov. 29, 2017 at 5:06 p.m.

By the Advocate Editorial Board

The holiday season is upon us, but that long-awaited festive nip in the air doesn't seem nearly as sweet when one thinks of the many families still living in tents and other substandard shelters after the summer's big storm.

Nevertheless, our region needs a good dose of the true yuletide spirit now more than ever. At a time when many of us are searching for thoughtful gifts for our cherished friends and family, let's also keep in mind those who may be struggling this holiday season, particularly those still dealing with the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey. The season offers numerous opportunities for giving and volunteering, and if everyone does their part, the Crossroads will have a very merry Christmas indeed.

Families who are still displaced because of Harvey will need short-term shelter options as well as long-term help to get back on their feet. Residents can help by donating to the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent, the Salvation Army, the Victoria Area Homeless Coalition and other local groups that work directly with those who are struggling after the storm.

A visit from Santa can go a long way toward cheering up a child who's had a difficult year, but many parents in our area will struggle to put presents beneath their trees. By donating toys and other needed items, you can help give hope to a child.

Initiatives like Marine Toys for Tots and The Salvation Army's Angel Tree are already in full swing and in need of donations.

Additionally, find out if your workplace or place of worship is hosting any other charitable holiday drives.

As always, one of the most valuable things you can give to those in need is your time. Try to take a break between the family visits and shopping frenzy to volunteer with one of the many organizations that will be helping people this holiday season. You'll be able to meet and offer encouragement to other civic-minded residents as well as those in need of help as you take an active role in serving the community.

Christmas carols and festive decorations aside, what makes this time of year truly beautiful is the sense we get of needing to reach out and help those less fortunate than us. Please consider donating or volunteering to ensure this remains the happiest time of year for everyone in the Crossroads.

This opinion reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.


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