There’s something special about this time of year that goes beyond shiny red wrapping paper and the sounds of “Jingle Bells” blaring from retail store speakers.
With Thanksgiving in the rear view mirror and the days counting down to Christmas, this community has in the past celebrated the season of giving with a remarkable display of charity each year.
While some obsess over the commercialization of Christmas and the excesses that sometime accompany the buying season that commences with Black Friday, others turn their efforts to helping their fellow man in a wide variety of ways.
The willingness of local residents to step forward and help others each December is very much a part of the holiday tradition for Forsyth County. And thank goodness for that.
This year there are many who are in need of help. Successive years of economic turbulence, foreclosures, furloughs and unemployment have left many in need of community support.
We hope that those who can help, will help.
If you would like to make Christmas better for someone this year, there are ample opportunities for doing so. Whether your interest is sending a package to a soldier overseas, providing a special meal for a senior citizen, or donating a toy to a child who might otherwise have nothing on Christmas day, there are volunteers working to make it possible.
Many seasonal charities resonate with familiarity, from the ringing bell of the Salvation Army to the familiar collection sites of Toys for Tots. But others may sound credible when in fact they aren’t.
Unfortunately, there are those in our society who display the heart of a Grinch during the holidays and take advantage of this most charitable time of the year by attempting to scam well-meaning folks out of their money.
Before making a donation to any charity with which you are not already familiar, especially those from out of town who solicit by telephone or e-mail, please take the time to make sure they are legitimate. If in doubt, Web sites such as www.guidestar.org or www.charitywatch.org are good resources to use in validating charities that may be unfamiliar to you.
If you want to help make the holidays brighter for someone else and don’t know how to do so, check the many ongoing philanthropic efforts listed in the events pages of the Forsyth County News, and on our Web site at www.forsythnews.com. Or call the local United Way to find a cause you would like to support.
Christmas is, by tradition, a time for giving of gifts. Helping others who are in need blesses the giver with the gift of human kindness, a present finer than any wrapped in shiny paper under a tree.
Give from the heart this holiday season. It’s a local tradition well worth keeping.