‘Tis the season to give

As the weather gets cooler and the days get shorter, we all should remember that there’s at least a few families, even in Shelby County, that dread the cold weather for a simple reason: they don’t have shelter or clothes to help keep them warm.

Last week, the Calera Community Center helped make sure fewer local families will feel that way by handing out free clothing, blankets and shoes to almost 550 people.

Although the economy has begun a slow rebound, we still feel the effects of the last two years. Many are without jobs, and many more just don’t have the money to provide everything necessary for their children or for themselves.

While it’s sad to see so many people in need, it’s encouraging that so many others gave of themselves to help them. This is a year when many won’t buy a new jacket or shoes, but donations to the community center were 10 times what they were last year.

As the holiday season nears, we should all try to keep that spirit of giving within us. One day, we might be grateful for the help others give us.

For opportunities to give or volunteer, contact your local Salvation Army, Oak Mountain Missions at 685-5759 or the Retired Senior Volunteer Program at 669-3837.

You can also visit the county’s community services Web site at Shelbycountyalabama.com/com_services.shtm.