The holiday season is one of the best times of the year – a time for families to come together, a time for giving and sharing. During the holidays we pause to reflect on what really matters in our lives. But for the nearly 15 million Americans who are unemployed, the holiday season can be the most difficult time of their year.
Nearly one in 10 eligible working-age Americans are unemployed. We may have friends or family members who are struggling. For those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to share our blessings during this holiday season, there are many opportunities across the state of Texas and our nation to help our fellow Americans who have fallen on hard times.
With so many organizations, causes, and individuals in need this holiday season, there are a variety of groups that are rallying to help. Charity Navigator (www.charitynavigator.org) is an excellent online resource to help you find a local or national charitable organization that could use your donations of time or resources.
Whether you are considering donating — or if you and your family are in need this holiday season — I would like to highlight a few charitable organizations that are good places to start.
When heading in or out of a grocery store or shopping mall, it’s hard to miss the Salvation Army volunteers ringing their bells and collecting donations in their famous red kettles. For more than 100 years, the Salvation Army has been providing food, clothing, and shelter to the poor. With service locations in 46 Texas cities and thousands of volunteers collecting donations outside stores across the state, receiving help or donating to the Salvation Army has never been easier. For more information visit them online at www.salvationarmytexas.org.
Texas Area Food Banks
There are hundreds of Food Banks across the state of Texas that are currently in need of donations and volunteers. This is certainly one of the easiest and most tangible ways to help our neighbors who are most in need. Go to the Feeding America Project website at www.FeedingAmerica.org and you can easily locate a Food Bank in your area.
Dress for Success
Since 1997, Dress for Success has been working to help disadvantaged women find employment and achieve economic independence. Specifically the organization helps women by providing professional attire, career development and support. As the old adage goes, “dress for the job you want”; Dress for Success provides women the opportunity to do just that. For ways to donate your used clothing or to make an appointment for career counseling go to www.dressforsuccess.org.
I hope that all Americans who are able will give what they can of their time and resources to those who are in need, particularly during this holiday season. For some it may be a financial donation to a local charity; for others it could be volunteering one’s time and talents to a worthy cause or a struggling family in your own neighborhood. Every little bit helps and can make a world of difference to those who are in need.
America stands apart from other nations because of our sense of charity and philanthropy. We have always helped those in need and during these difficult times, we stand ready to help our friends and fellow citizens. May God bless you and yours during this holiday season. Merry Christmas!
Kay Bailey Hutchison is the senior U.S. Senator from Texas.