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
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
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