It's been a rough year for a lot of people. The economy is turning around, but slowly, the people in Washington seem more interested in fighting than in solving problems, and there are a lot of voices in the media trying to tell everyone that things are just going to get worse. With all that going on, it's easy to just want to give up and quit trying, to say "I can't make a difference."
The fact is, though, that you can make a difference. This is the season where your actions can make more of a difference to someone else's life than any other. There will be many families who will spend this Christmas without much under the tree if they even have one. There will be many families who aren't wondering what big screen TV to buy, they're wondering if they will have enough money to keep the lights and heat on. There will be many families hoping the food pantry will have enough supplies that they can feed their kids.
There are many ways you can make someone else's holiday a lot nicer. Drop a few extra dollars in the Salvation Army kettle, give money to your church to help your neighbors, volunteer to help at the Community Christmas Dinner. Many utilities have programs where you can add a few dollars to your utility payment each month to help someone in need pay theirs. There are several food pantries in Hamilton County that are always glad to take your donation of non perishable food. Stock up at one of the grocery stores and drop off a case of canned vegetables or soup and make someone's dinner.
What's most important is to keep in mind that those in need are often invisible. They feel ashamed of being in a situation that they very well may have had no control over. They've been out of work for several months, or have been injured, or have a medical problem that has depleted their finances. Asking for help is the last thing they want to do, but they are glad when their community shows it cares enough to make sure that help is there. We all need to keep them in our thoughts.
Someone in need may be someone you know.