Public Square

We are in the season of giving. But what are we to do when many households are in some degree of need?

The COVID pandemic and its ensuing economic challenges have forced many families to face shortages in earnings, food and necessities. The local households in need are not someone else's problem, but a community issue. 

If each of the nation's billionaires gave five or 10 percent of their wealth to address problems of houselessness, hunger and health, our society would be much different and stronger. But those in a position to give should not expect to see a billionaire arrive on a white horse. Society's ills begin and end with society collectively.

Programs that provide for the food insecure, the shelterless and the addicted will not rid the nation of those ills. Those programs are a hand up when a hand is needed the most. 

Some say the world is divided between the haves and the have-nots. A glance at any story about the wealth of the contemporary rich would prove that. 

There are the have-nots, but there are a lot more have-less. Tis the season to keep those in our minds as we plan our holidays. We can each ask ourselves: How much do I need? Especially at grocery stores that offer the opportunity to buy extra items for the food bank, or to contribute cash.

When shopping at a brick-and-mortar store, or online, we can ask ourselves how would we be hurt if we bought a few extra pairs of socks or underwear for those who desperate need them, or a pair of pajamas or a warm winter coat for a child who has none.

There is no shortage of organizations this time of year who are holding drives to collect clothes, food, toys and cash for the have-nots and the have-less, starting with the Keizer Network of Women's Giving Basket program aiding families in need. 

The Keizer Community Food Bank at Faith Lutheran Church will always accept non-perishable food items; the bank can make a $1 cash donation stretch further than the average consumer.  

If you are one of the haves, reach out to help your brethern, many of whom never thought they would ever need a donation. There but for the grace of God go many of us.

Tis the season for giving, after all.

        —LAZ