Many of us have been spending the last few days since Thanksgiving satisfied with full bellies as the biggest meal of the year continues on with abundant leftovers to tide us over until our next venture into the kitchen.

But now, the final month of the year is upon us. As we turn our attention to Christmas, the sound of the dinner bell signaling the turkey is on the table has turned to one of hope — jingling off in the distance outside a business’ door, coming from the site of the familiar bright red kettle perched firmly on a stand, and a bundled-up volunteer who took the time that day to look out for the community. It’s a ring that reminds us that just a week prior, not everyone in our area was afforded the same privilege of a holiday well fed.

In fact, there are many right here in our communities who struggle every day of the year with not having enough money to buy food and other basic necessities.

The holidays should be the time when we turn our attention to our neighbors in need. There are numerous ways to help — from donating toys to giving money, from serving food to paying a simple visit with someone who could really use the company.

On Thanksgiving day, the Herald-Standard kicked off the 2019 Give-A-Christmas campaign. Each year, our newspaper family sets a goal and works with readers and community members in providing these much needed funds to the Salvation Army, which provides services year-round to help battle back against homelessness, hunger and poverty. This year’s Give-A-Christmas goal is $15,000.

According to Major Deborah Weigner, Uniontown Worship and Service Center of the Salvation Army, there is a greater need for additional donations this year by Christmas as the organization’s Red Kettle fundraising campaign is one week shorter due to a late Thanksgiving date.

Now is the time our community needs us the most. As Weigner said, “That’s why we’re here — to give hope to the hopeless and help to the needy.”

Anyone in the Herald-Standard readership area can donate to Give-A-Christmas whether it is $5 or $5,000. And donations will be sent to the Salvation Army unit that serves the area in which the donor lives.

Donations will be accepted until noon Dec. 20. The grand total will be announced in the Christmas Eve edition of the Herald-Standard. Information about how to donate can be found in the story on today’s Community page.

This holiday season, let’s put our preconceived notions aside and work for the better of our residents regardless of the “WHYs” and “IFs” of how those hard times came to be. At the end of the day, it shouldn’t matter the circumstances of why someone is in need, but rather our response to it as caring neighbors who want to lift up those around us. That should always remain our number one goal.

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