Giving brings warmth

Published 9:04 pm Thursday, December 7, 2017

It’s the season of giving, but this Christmas considering giving in ways that will help those who truly need help and bring warmth — literally and figuratively — to them and you.

For instance, when out and about taking care of holiday shopping, consider dropping money — preferably the folding kind — in those red kettles The Salvation Army has around the Washington area. Those contributions could provide warm coats and hot food to the less fortunate among us. Donations also help provide basic necessities, along with seasonal aid such as money to enable some people to pay their heating bills. Some of the money will be used to buy toys for children in families that face a not-so-merry Christmas. A $5 donation could help put a smile on a child’s face this Christmas.

Those red kettles can be found at several sites in the area. Mondays through Wednesdays, bell-ringers are stationed at the two main entrances to the Washington Wal-Mart, the Piggly Wiggly on River Road and Walgreen’s in Washington. Thursdays through Saturdays, bell-ringers are needed at the two Food Lions in Washington (John Small Avenue and Washington Square Mall) and the Food Lion in Chocowinity.

Then there is Project HELP, which helps some people pay their heating bills in the winter. Project HELP is offered by Washington Electric Utilities. The city partners with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and The Salvation Army to operate the program. Those two agencies decide who will receive help from the program. Those selected to receive assistance do not receive cash to apply toward their utility bills. Applicants are screened, based on need, to determine if they will receive assistance.

Project HELP raises funds to provide that assistance in three ways. First, WEU customers may round up their utility bills to the nearest dollar amount, with the difference between the amount of the bill and the rounded-up dollar amount going to Project HELP. Second, a WEU customer may make a lump-sum donation to Project HELP. Third, a WEU customer may designate a specific amount to be added to his or her monthly utility bill, with that designated amount going to Project HELP.

Contributions are tax deductible.

These to options will make a positive difference in recipients’ lives — and in your life.