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Archive for Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holiday help

A slumping economy presents a special challenge this year to help local people in need.

December 11, 2008

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The pleas for help this holiday season seem a little more urgent than usual. Lists of those who need help seem to be longer and, with Christmas only about two weeks away, local agencies say they need more donors.

We know this community will, as it always does, step up to help.

Five local agencies — Ballard Community Services, Penn House, Douglas County Senior Services, ECKAN and Salvation Army — organize the Holiday Bureau efforts each year, matching people who need some assistance with volunteers who are willing to adopt someone for the holidays. Some agencies report that their number of donors is down, and dozens of families are waiting to be adopted. At the same time, agencies that operate food banks say their shelves are bare.

There are dozens of ways to help others at this holiday season. The organizers of the Community Christmas Dinner need turkeys and hams. Donations of money or toys are welcome for Douglas County Toys for Tots. If you have more time than money, you can volunteer to help at the Lawrence Arts Center’s Children’s Holiday Shop this weekend or help serve a hot breakfast Christmas morning at the Lawrence Community Shelter. If you need help connecting with a volunteer opportunity, just contact the Roger Hill Volunteer Center.

With job layoffs and a slumping economy, it’s not surprising that needs are high this holiday season. Reaching out with some food, some money or just a helping hand is a great way to feed the holiday spirit.

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