STEP OUT WITH SENIORS: Help others savor the season

What is your favorite thing about Christmas, other than gathering with family and friends? Is it the decorations painted on store windows? Is it all the bright lights on homes and trees in the neighborhoods? Is it the yard displays, Christmas music or bright red poinsettias?

Whatever your favorite thing about the Christmas holidays is, savor it and enjoy it to the fullest.

In the midst of our own enjoyment we need to remember that not everyone is going to feel as excited about the holidays this year. We all know of people who have lost their jobs and have families to care for.

There are single mothers in our community struggling to pay their rent, families suddenly overwhelmed with large medical bills, people who cannot afford their much-needed prescriptions and who cannot buy their children presents. These are families who need help from our community organizations.

Individually we may not be able to do a lot. However, if we band together and each put a little something into the pot, we will be surprised at the number of individuals we can help. Here are a few places your small or large donations can be put to very good use:

• This is one of the best ideas I have seen. QFC has joined with Food Lifeline to provide food for our local food bank. It is called Share The Feast program. The store invites shoppers to purchase a prepackaged sack of groceries. You just add the cost to your grocery order and the store does the rest. For those who can donate just a dollar or two, or even a larger amount, the store can arrange for a gift card to the program. Remember the other food banks in the Plateau area, too.

• The youth centers of Buckley and Enumclaw need donations all year long. They need clothes and personal hygiene items. You have no idea what deodorant, shampoo and toothpaste can do for a kid’s self esteem. Buckley’s center is near the Post Office and Enumclaw’s is next to the senior center on Cole Street.

• One of the hardest working groups here is Plateau Outreach Ministries, supported by local churches and families. At this time of year the organization is trying to fill requests from families in need of food, housing and clothes. The group also helps people in other ways- seniors who cannot pay for much needed medication, people whose heat has been shut off and others in need. Their office is across the street from the Enumclaw Post Office. They can stretch a dollar amazingly far.

• Even if you do not attend a church in the area you can help them with a donation towards the holiday food baskets they fill for people in our area. Check your phone book for local churches.

• While I would encourage you to call your local police or fire department to take part in their Giving Tree program, by the time this is published it will probably be too late to take part. On the other hand it would not hurt to give them a call. Enumclaw has its Cops 4 Kids program. Buckley’s fire and police departments have joined together for their program this year.

It takes people with generous hearts to share. Often the first to do so are those who once needed help themselves for they know how real the need is.

Let us teach our children and grandchildren by example and remind ourselves to reach out and joyfully help others here on the Plateau.

From my house to yours, whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year, enjoy it and savor it.

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