Too often Christmas becomes about gifts, make it a time for family and helping those in need

It’s finally here. The day some of us wait for with rapt anticipation and others embrace with hesitation. Regardless of religious affiliation, or feelings toward the story behind Christmas, it’s a day with a spirit we should all embody.

Oftentimes with the Christmas season starting earlier and earlier — this year with Black Friday shopping started on Thanksgiving — the true meaning gets lost.

Dr. Seuss summed up the issue nicely in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

“The Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

Christmas is about spending time with family and helping others who may not be as fortunate as yourself. As we all know it’s become commercialized and more about the gifts than anything else. Even if every year you say to yourself, “This year I’m going to do something for someone else,” make this that year. There are numerous local charities that can always use an extra hand or another donation. Even with the economy slowly turning itself around, there are still those in need in our community.

While this list contains a few charities in Newberg, there are certainly others. The idea is to keep organizations such as these in mind not only during the holidays, but all year round.

Newberg F.I.S.H. (503-538-4444) and Dundee Promise Pantry (503-554-9070): For those looking to donate their time or food, both organizations can put donations to good use.

Faith in Action (503-537-1549): As a coalition of local churches, organizations and Providence Newberg Medical Center, the group provides services for children and seniors with special needs.

Toy and Joy (503-537-1230, option 2): An annual program that provides toys to families in need. Although gifts are only distributed Christmas Eve, donations are accepted all year.

Yamhill County Action Partnership (1-503-472-0457): An organization to promote the health, education and the general welfare of those in need, YCAP offers services including a food bank, housing and energy assistance and youth outreach.

Newberg Habitat for Humanity (503-537-9938): As a group that spends all year building houses, there are numerous opportunities to get involved or donate time and resources.

Love INC (503-537-3999): This organization is another that dips its toes in multiple facets of the community. Among them include operating the Newberg homeless shelter and providing free medical and dental clinics.

Remember there is no donation too small. Whether it’s 30 minutes of your time or the spare cans of food in your pantry. It all makes a difference. Merry Christmas.

Contract Publishing

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