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.

 

Salvation Army

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.