The late Thanksgiving left less time for seasonal charities to meet their goals, even as there is more need in the community. Donors will have to be generous – and be quick about it.
There surely is a cause for everybody who has a desire to give.
The Sunday Eagle included the 2013 Holiday Wish List, with its many ways to help charities serving children, the poor and homeless, veterans, animals, individuals with disabilities and more. The Kansas.com version of the list links to organizations, many of which need volunteers as well as dollars and donated items.
Collections are underway among the organizations that distribute items to needy families each December.
Aiming to serve 14,000 people this month, Operation Holiday is seeking nonperishable food items; new toys and blankets; new or gently used coats, hats, mittens and scarves; and cash. It is working in partnership with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program and Catholic Charities. Drop-offs can be made at the distribution center at 6225 E. Kellogg; at Dillons stores, In the Bag Cleaners locations and Wells Fargo branches; or during a special event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Dillons at Central and Rock. Learn more at interfaithwichita.org.
Via its familiar red kettles and bell ringers and otherwise, the Salvation Army’s Mission of Hope campaign is aiming to raise $1.8 million this season, including through a celebrity-studded and online-assisted effort from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday seeking $40,000 in three hours. And the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree and Star of Hope program is gathering presents for 3,800 families, including 9,600 children. For more information, go to missionofhope.salvationarmy.us.
The Salvation Army, the Wichita Community Foundation and The Eagle sponsor Share the Season, which offers one-time help to those facing unexpected hardships and has raised more than $78,000 this year. Contributions can be made online at sharetheseason.org, or by mail to Share the Season, Wichita Community Foundation, 301 N. Main, Suite 100, Wichita, KS 67202.
The Share the Season applicants’ daily stories in The Eagle over the past week have tugged at the heart. They have described jobs lost and replaced by low-paying ones, medical crises and resulting unpaid bills, overdue house and utility payments, depleted savings – people trying to do their best but just struggling to get by amid the spotty and sputtering economy.
“I ask that you please help me and my family as we have exhausted every avenue I know,” wrote one woman.
Time is short this year, but there is no shortage of opportunities to help brighten the holiday season for others. Just pick a charity and pitch in with dollars, time or both. Every gift counts.
For the editorial board, Rhonda Holman