November 21, 2012

Give thanks by giving

Many of us will soon join with our families to enjoy a holiday dinner and each other’s company.

But as we stop to give thanks for all of the blessings we have received, we should also remember those who are less fortunate. Some people in this community are still having a hard time just putting food on the table, much less affording an extravagant meal.

Fortunately, there are many organizations and churches in this area trying to help those in need. If you’ve got a spare dollar to give to those organizations, we are sure they would appreciate it. And if you’ve got a spare can of food or bag of beans or rice or any other nonperishable food item, we are sure that any of the local food banks could use the donation.

If you don’t know where to give, the Northwest Georgia Branch of the Chattanooga Area Food Bank takes donations and distributes them to some 63 different agencies. It is located at 1111 S. Hamilton St.

Meanwhile, the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Drive is currently under way. The group is trying to raise $100,000 for services it provides in Whitfield and Murray counties. Volunteers and part-time paid staff will be at area Kohl’s, Kmart, Kroger and Walmart locations through Dec. 24 as well as at Big Lots and the Green Spot. Most locations will be staffed from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day except Sunday. Cellphone users can text “give” to 80888 to initiate a $10 donation that will go to the local organization.

The city of Dalton is collecting new, unwrapped toys for children ages 1 to 12 through Dec. 18 for its annual Mayor’s Christmas Toy Drive. Toys may be dropped off at City Hall, 300 W. Waugh St., between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The toys will be delivered to Providence Ministries for distribution to the in-need children of the community.

And Dalton/Whitfield Sharing is Caring Community Christmas is trying to collect toys and clothing for more than 1,500 children, ages infant to 18. They will be taking donations of new toys at the North Georgia Fairgrounds (Commercial Exhibits Building 2), on Dec. 6, 7, 10, 12 and 14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can also send financial donations to: Sharing is Caring Christmas Club Fund, c/o Jackie Taylor-Finance Chairman, 405 School St., Dalton, GA 30720. Make checks payable to “United Way” and in the “for” line put “Sharing is Caring Christmas Club.”

Last but certainly not least, we shouldn’t forget the men and women serving in America’s military at this time of year. Operation Uplift will be accepting donations for care packages for those serving overseas through Dec. 1 at Christian Heritage School, Cohutta Banking Co. (Dug Gap Road and Thornton Avenue locations), Mohawk Industries, Superbody Fitness Center and The Daily Citizen. The organization is looking for items such as canned tuna and nuts, hand warmers, deodorant, toothpaste and beef jerky. The group also needs donations to offset the cost of shipping. Donations can be made out to Operation Uplift and taken to Cohutta Banking Co.

These are just a very few of the many worthy local charities you might want to consider. So after you’ve spent time with your family, take a moment to remember those who may not be so fortunate.

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