The holiday season is known for two things: giving gifts to the people you love and giving back to those who need help. What people mostly focus on is what they’re going to give to their friends and family. There’s also a lot of pressure to get everyone the “perfect” gift. But sometimes the only perfect gift is one given to someone who really needs it.

That’s where charities step in. During the holiday season, they kick up their everyday efforts to help their communities because more people are willing to get involved. Share the Season is one of the ways charities do this. They choose families who need a little extra holiday joy in their lives and promote their campaign through local newspapers to alert the public that they can donate to a good cause. This year, one of their stories features a mother in need.

The Gift of Financial Freedom

As many single moms know — and anyone can imagine — raising a child on your own can be both a difficult and rewarding task to take on. Children can be the greatest gift one could ever receive, but it can be a financial struggle at times to provide them what they need when you’re doing it alone. For one single mother, that financial fight was made worse when she had a car wreck this past October accompanied by complicated health problems. On average, most major car wrecks cost over $18,000 at the very least — and hospital bills climb ever higher as insurance companies consolidate themselves.

Every person who receives support from Share the Season must write in and fill out an application. In her application, this single mom wrote that she just wanted to “be able to get back on track to be self-sufficient again.”

Share the Season immediately jumped into action, aiding her with her bills to help her get on her feet. The mother commented that their financial gift “made it a little more easy for me to manage my money and not fall further behind.” Not worrying about having her electricity shut off over the holidays meant a lot less stress for her and even a bit more money for gifts for her daughter.

How They Help

No charity could help people alone. Share the Season is no different.

The charity is a joint project of The Salvation Army, the Wichita Community Foundation and The Wichita Eagle. These programs have come together for the past 18 years to help people in need in the local Wichita area. Throughout the year, people can donate online to fund the charity. They use this money to help families who send in applications detailing the help they need.

For almost two decades, the working poor have received one-time assistance for big bills associated with things like medical care and utilities. Since the program began, over 3,300 families have been helped with a total of $3.1 million made in donations by people across the country. There’s no end to the good that can be done by lending a hand to those who have been knocked off their feet by unfortunate and unforeseeable life circumstances, so Share the Season is determined to keep the help coming.

What You Can Do

During this holiday season, try not to get too wrapped up in the pressures of hosting the perfect party or buying everyone expensive things. Instead, talk with your family and friends about what else you can do to make this time of year a joyous one for people who don’t have money for gifts or food for a dinner. Call your local organizations who work year-round to aid the community and see what you can do to help.

You can also do research online to find some of the best charities you can donate to. It’s good to know what program you’re handing your money to so that you know that money is going to the right place. Programs like Share the Season do some of the greatest work, but they couldn’t do it without the financial support of people willing to give. This year, consider taking out some of your gift budget and doing something for those in need so the holiday season is a great one for everyone.

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About Author

Kate Harveston covers social justice and human rights issues. She graduated with a Bachelors in English and minored in Criminal Justice, so she enjoys writing about anything related to the intersections of law, politics and culture. For more of her writing, you can visit her blog, Only Slightly Biased.

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