The holidays are a time that people help each other out and exchange gifts. It's also a time when charities ask people to donate as part of the "spirit of giving," and many people do. But what happens after the holiday season is over? The people in need do not stop being hungry or suddenly become employed, they still need our help.
This pandemic affected so many lives, and many more people are now in need of assistance because they lost their job, lost a family member, or had to pay medical bills — nearly everyone has been impacted in some way. To give an idea of how many people need help; in one Texas town where a food bank usually distributes food during the Thanksgiving holiday for around 500 people, they served 8,500! The same Texas food bank expects to continue serving at this higher rate for the next two years, according to the article. As usual, Black people and Hispanic people are suffering more than their white counterparts. So far around one in four households in the U.S. experienced food insecurity this year, meaning they either didn't have enough to eat or did not know how they were going to get their next meal.
Many people are taking advantage of the holidays as a time to give back to the community and share with the less fortunate. It has become a trend for some people to exchange gifts to their favorite charities, instead of the traditional gift buying. Some people have grown tired of the shopping headaches and how the holidays have been overcome by materialism. Deciding instead to spend the gift money on charities and use the time saved from shopping to relax or spend with families. Although, we should make sure we are prioritizing our family and friends' needs. By making a point of giving for a charitable cause during the holidays, we get a chance to learn about the needs in our community and about those who can benefit from our help.
Charity, whether it is volunteering your time or services, giving money/aid, or emotional support, is a very rewarding endeavor. It gives the person doing it a sense of purpose and self-worth that can't be matched by other things. Studies have shown that helping others helps us improve our health as well, and gives us a feel-good "high". When we share we can also reduce waste and take the burden off of someone else.This is a great time to commit to helping others out. And as the new year approaches and it comes time to make our New Year's resolutions, why not start off with committing to do something charitable every month? There are many opportunities to help out if you search. And if you do not find something you like you could create something on your own, as some people have done.