The holidays are a wonderful time to look past our own walls and offer a little happiness to those in need.
This article about a Long Island Veteran losing his home brings helping those in need front and center.
While there's always two sides to every story, the gist of the matter is that while the veteran was away having knee surgery in another state. The neighborhood and the town, took it upon themselves to demolish his "deemed uninhabitable" home.
Interviews with neighbors, give the impression that none of them ever had any contact with this man and that they were more concerned with appearances than the deeper situation. A simple knock on the door or an offer of assistance from either the neighbors, the town or both, could have possibly stopped this whole process.
AP Photo/Frank Eltman
My own community, is relatively tight knit as most townhouse developments are. I notice if I haven't seen someone for awhile, I talk to my neighbors and have a rough idea of what is going on...therefore I worry when something seems out of whack. There's a difference between being nosy and being aware. We all like our privacy and at that the same time, feel a sense of security in the knowledge that someone is there, should we need them.
So this season, I ask that everyone takes that extra time to show a neighbor kindness or offer assistance.
Every year I do my donating to the various food pantries, etc.. This year, I'm more focused on the military and their families. I found a great site that offers all kinds of options for helping both in service and retired military, as well as their families.
This link from Education.com gives 100 different ideas on
Donate your time to senior living facilities and local charities by visiting
Help the Homeless by signing up with
Do be careful when googling sites, other than listed above, as the charity business has become home to many scams. For info on some of the worst charities visit
and you can always check the FTC's Consumer Information site at
Aside from the info listed above, use this special time of the year to look around you and see who may be in need.
Maybe it's the small joy of a conversation, a small gift that will brighten their day or the offer of assistance with something that may be a struggle for them (household chores or yard work, a ride to the store or doctor, possibly even helping them to decorate their home for the holidays). I can tell you that as I get older, dragging all the Christmas stuff down from the attic becomes increasingly more difficult. I can't imagine having to do this myself when I reach my 60's, 70's or 80's....add to that those with physical disabilities and there are quite a few people out there, who I'm sure would love to decorate for the holidays, but simply can't.
As always, thanks so much for reading and have a wonderful holiday season!