In early December, area charities Operation Holiday, the Salvation Army, Toys for Tots and Catholic Charities Christmas Sharing usually have to put out the word that they are falling short of donations for their holiday efforts. Then comes the annual avalanche of donated toys, food, coats, blankets and dollars, to put the groups within sight of their goals, if not beyond them. Because the economy has created a mountain of need this year, the community's response needs to be just as huge — and quick, given that distribution is under way for some of the groups. All those who can give this year — or give more — should step up right away. Your gifts not only will brighten the holidays for the families being served, but prove again how caring Wichita can be. To help Operation Holiday, call 316-264-9303. To help the Salvation Army, call 316-263-2769. To help Toys for Tots, call 316-682-3252. To help Catholic Charities Christmas Sharing, call 316-264-8344.