UNITED STATES─It is that time of year, where people’s hearts and wallet open in a way that it doesn’t transpire any other time of the year. I can never fully grasp why the months of November and December see Americans more generous than any other time of the year, beyond it being the holidays. With that being said, I think it is imperative that for those of us capable of helping others, make efforts to do what they can because there are plenty of Americans who are need. Just because you can’t SEE it or they do not SAY it, does not mean they are not in need.

I know there are plenty who think the only way to give is through monetary donations and that is not always the case. If you have the funds to donate rather it is to the Red Cross, food banks, local charities, organizations or families in need please do so. However, not all Americans can do such things, but you can still assist in other ways by donating your time. Yes, that is the one thing that so many of us forget, our time is precious and when you don’t have the funds, you time can assist in a multitude of ways that it might baffle you.

You can help gather supplies, foods or other items that will be donated to families in need. In addition, you get the opportunity to bond with others, learn about their lives, their struggles or the stories they share helping those in need. It is during this time of year that we learn how grateful we should be for the things that we have. Sometimes we take the bare necessities for granted like a house, heat, water, electricity, food, etc. There are people who don’t have these things; and they go about their day doing the best they can to not focus on those issues.

Nothing annoys me more than when I hear a person judging someone who is out on the streets holding a sign and asking for help. You have no idea about the circumstances that led that person to be in the position they are, so who are you to question them or cast judgement on that individual. That is one of the problems with this country. Everyone has an opinion and everyone feels the need to make their opinion be heard even when it should not be heard. Sometimes it suits you to just shut up, keep quiet and go about your day if you do not have anything nice to say at all. With the advent of social media it just makes the notion of speaking your ‘truth’ as some people call it that much worse in my personal opinion.

The one thing a lot of Americans should be aware of is that the smallest amount of money or the smallest amount of time can have a major impact on plenty of people. That time you donate can really help an organization that might be short-staffed or happen to be in need of a helping hand. In addition, purchasing a toy, food or a minor donation can help deliver potential needs to those who had no idea where there next meal might come from or how to feed their kids or place something under the tree during a trying time of the year.

I guess the biggest thing I want to say is that you NEVER know when you might be in a position where YOU need a helping hand. You might say it will never happen to me, but you don’t know that for certain. The loss of a job, or just a bad turn of events can lead some down a downward spiral that it takes weeks, months, years to recover from.