Christmas is less than two weeks away, and local social service agencies report that hundreds of families who have requested holiday assistance still are on their waiting lists. It’s a great time to indulge your holiday spirit of giving.
There are any number of worthy efforts in our community that could use your help, but if you need some suggestions, here are a few:
• Toys for Tots reports a large increase in requests and made a last-minute appeal for gifts this week. Drop boxes are located at various businesses and offices all over town. You can find the complete list of locations, along with a list of suggested gifts, at www.toysfortotsdgcoks.org. “Noise for Tots,” a concert and toy drive that will benefit Toys for Tots also is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. today at the Bottleneck, 737 N.H.
• Ballard Center and Salvation Army reported this week that they have many families awaiting adoption. Ballard said it had twice the normal number of families seeking help. Call Ballard at 842-0729 or the Salvation Army at 843-4188 for more information.
• The Tree of Stars is a collaboration between Ballard Center and Sunflower Cablevision. Donors can select a gift star off one of the trees located at several Lawrence businesses, buy the gift and deliver it to Ballard to help families who aren’t adopted.
• For a gift that keeps on giving, there’s always the United Way of Douglas County that supports 24 local agencies and is working to close out its annual fundraising campaign. Douglas County Red Cross also reports that helping victims of local fires has depleted its coffers this year, and it could use some help.
Even in a great, giving community like Lawrence, there are many people with serious needs. Those needs exist throughout the year, but especially at the holidays, everyone should feel like they haven’t been forgotten and that someone cares. When the cold winds are blowing outside, reaching out to those less fortunate will give you a warm feeling that will make the holiday even more meaningful.