Help others, help yourself

We all need a little something to make us feel good these days.

As autumn winds down and we head into the dreary days of winter, there is no sign that the coronavirus will slow its spread through our communities. Schools and colleges are switching to remote learning. Gov. Mike DeWine is issuing stern warnings about what may be to come if Ohioans don’t comply with health guidelines that aim to limit the reach of the illness.

It’s exhausting — and frustrating, and even infuriating.

So what can we do to help improve the mood?

One thing we can do is think about others and ways that we can help them.

As is always the case at this time of year, charitable efforts are getting underway. Many of those initiatives will focus on making the holidays a little brighter for children or families that have fallen on hard times. Many people have been forced out of work by the pandemic. They are probably wondering how they can provide special meals for their loved ones this year. They be figuring out how to explain to their children that Santa Claus won’t be delivering as many gifts as usual.

But that doesn’t have to be the case. Each one of us who is still employed or comfortably retired can help to make a difference in these lives.

Opportunities to do just that will abound in the coming weeks. The Salvation Army already has announced plans to set up its Angel Tree in the usual locations. When you pass by, take a tag from that tree and do your best to provide the child featured on it with at least some of the gifts they desire.

Another option is to participate in Operation Christmas Child. Local churches are already assisting with that effort, collecting items for impoverished children around the world. For more than 20 years, the initiative that is part of the Samaritan’s Purse project has provided shoe boxes filled with school supplies, hygiene items and toys to children across the globe.

The collection week for that effort begins Monday. Call 740-624-0612 to contribute or volunteer to help.

There are plenty of other ways to help others. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Donate to a food pantry. Drop coins in a Red Kettle.

We urge you to do what you can to help others this season — and we think it will help you, too.


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