Spreading Christmas cheer

Published 2:39 pm Thursday, November 17, 2016

After Thanksgiving next week, Black Friday arrives, as does Cyber Monday. Something else also arrives — opportunities to help the less-fortunate folks among us.

The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle drive will get under way with bell-ringers manning donation sites. The Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots campaign will launch its annual offensive to collect toys for needy children. Area churches will kick off their various efforts to collect food, clothing, toys and much more for families in need.

Don’t believe there’s such a need to be met? Talk with Marines who distributed the items collected for their Toys for Tots effort. Talk with Salvation Army officers and volunteers who know in a one-to-one, face-to-face setting those who need help to provide the basics to their children during the holiday season.

Sometimes spreading Christmas cheer is simply a group of carolers going to nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and retirement communities to serenade the elderly, shut-ins and others. Sometimes spreading Christmas cheer is nothing more than a church group, civic club or nonprofit organization making Christmas food donations to Eagle’s Wings.

Groups like the Beaufort/Hyde Partnership for Children with its Angel tree program bring smiles to underprivileged children make the difference between a merry Christmas and no-presents-under-the tree Christmas. Washington Montessori Public School students deliver pies to residents of places like The Village, an assisted-living facility off Avon Avenue. Those pies are accompanied by student violinists playing Christmas carols as they stroll door to door.

So, think about setting aside some of the money you planned to spend during Black Friday or Cyber Monday for these worthy causes. More than likely, you will feel better for it. There’s no doubt that who benefit from these Christmas-cheer campaigns will be better off for it.