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Area agencies still need help

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the holiday season. And even though it comes at the same time every year, so many of us procrastinate, waiting until the final few weeks to buy gifts and plan dinners.

While the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting restrictions and mandates have taken a lot of the hustle and bustle out of the season, we ask that you take a closer look at your family and friends, neighbors or even the average passerby. Many are struggling through unemployment and might be finding it hard to take care of their basic necessities. They might have to choose between putting food on the table or taking prescription medicine; spending their money to heat their home or buying a few holiday gifts for their children.

Thankfully, there are area agencies that help bridge the gap and offer the needy a little breathing room between their resources and the cost of acquiring basic human needs. Food, clothing, toys and financial assistance are available, but the agencies that offer them, now more than ever, need the help of those who are fortunate enough to have a steady income.

That demand has grown even greater this year, as the problems brought on by the coronavirus continue to hit home.

A visit to some of the agencies, such as the Urban Mission Ministries, can be an eye-opening experience. The growing number of those in need is becoming more evident.

We’re asking those who can in the coming weeks to drop some change into a Salvation Army kettle outside a local store or perhaps adopt a family to buy gifts for through their churches or area agencies. Also, a donation to the Jefferson County, Weirton or Upper Ohio Valley United Ways can go a long way to help someone with food, shelter or heating a home.

Sadly, the pandemic has resulted in changes that mean you are not able to offer even a small donation of your time by visiting with some of the area’s seniors living in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Their lives — like ours — are the worse for it.

Please dig deeper this year, as the Upper Ohio Valley has so many times before. A donation of money, toys, canned goods or your time really will go far, especially this year.

The needs of those struggling to make ends meet and provide for their families won’t go away any time soon, so be kind and giving during this season of perpetual hope.

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