It was just a small story, tucked inside the paper, but the call by the local Salvation Army for volunteers to help the organization on Thanksgiving is a poignant message that probably says more about the upcoming holiday season than we realize.
The Salvation Army will need help as it caters to more than 200 people who seek a holiday meal Thursday. There are a variety of volunteer shifts and different tasks that individuals can volunteer for.
The meal, at 150 S.E. Emigrant Ave., in Pendleton is free.
The main message with the meal is that there remains a vital need during the holiday season, and local residents can help out if they want.
It would be difficult to find a more worthy cause that represents the true spirit of the holiday season. There are also other local organizations, including food banks, that need help.
For most of us the holiday season — including Thanksgiving and Christmas — is a time to focus on family, to take stock of the past year and look toward the new one with hope and optimism.
Yet for many others, the holidays are a time of incredible stress as they struggle to make ends meet or, worse, search for a way to eat or feed their families.
That’s why efforts such as the one sponsored by the Salvation Army are so important and why it is crucial that local volunteers step up to help.
No one will say it is easy. We all have busy schedules. Thanksgiving or Christmas are days packed with visits from relatives. But if one has the time, even a few hours, we hope you consider helping out.
Another important point to consider is while the holiday often highlights the plight of the less fortunate in our community, the truth is the need doesn’t end after Christmas.
The need for food, for help, by many in our community continues through the winter and into spring and summer and fall.
That’s why we can’t look away after the holidays and pretend the challenge is gone. It isn’t. That is also why it remains critical that local residents, if they can, volunteer throughout the year and not just when local temperatures drop, signaling the beginning of winter.
So, if you can, help out this holiday season and don’t forget those who are less fortunate throughout the year.