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Frank Veltri Dinner (copy)

Volunteers work Nov. 21, 2018 preparing 40 hams for the annual Frank Veltri Thanksgiving Dinner. In its 52nd year, the 2018 dinner was expected to provide holiday meals for about 2,200 people.

Many children, teens and adults look forward to tearing into a brand new gift bestowed upon them by a loved one. What about the people who aren’t that lucky, though?

What about the people who do not have a family, friends, food, a warm home, a comfortable bed to sleep in each night or even a community who cares enough about them to help? Sounds pretty terrible, right?

This is the sad reality for many homeless or less fortunate members of society. With the rapidly-dropping temperatures, and the holidays drawing near, these people are left outside, freezing, alone, hungry, miserable and forgotten. However, you could make a difference, even if it’s only for one person. Regardless of your age, you — yes, you — could help to change someone’s life for the better.

You could change someone’s life by donating — donating time, money, food, clothing items or even a helping hand. Especially near the holidays, there are many charities, businesses, fundraisers and people accepting donations from the community. Before you think to yourself, “No, I can’t help. I am just a kid, after all,” or, “My family doesn’t have enough money to pay for someone else,” please remember that no matter what you give, whether it be a penny or a truckload of supplies, it will certainly make a difference to someone in need.

Local homeless shelters are constantly accepting donations, along with many schools, and of course any homeless folks that you may pass in your day-to-day life. Don’t know what to donate? Here are some ideas:

  • Warm clothing
  • Socks
  • Bedding
  • Warm blankets
  • Shoes
  • Hygiene products (soap,
  • deodorant, toothpaste, etc.)
  • Non-perishable food items
  • Small snacks that can be easily packed
  • Water
  • Money
  • Volunteer time

When deciding whether or not to donate, imagine that you or a loved one are in the same situation as the person receiving your donation. Wouldn’t you want someone to be selfless and donate something — anything — to help you?

Now that you are a bit more informed on donating, I have a challenge for you. I challenge you to perform one act of kindness for someone today. Whether it be a donation, lending a helping hand, telling someone a joke, talking to someone who may be left out, or simply smiling at someone you pass by in the hallway, it will brighten their day. Can you complete this challenge? Remember that no matter what you donate, your thoughtfulness is always appreciated. Donations are also needed year-round, so don’t forget to help out after the holiday season!