20 Dec Face It ® Editorial | Christmas giving
Christmas is hurtling ever closer, with most of us caught up in the annual frenzy of shopping, cooking, cleaning, decorating and, of course, searching online for last-minute deals.
But in the midst of this holiday rush, people should pause to consider the year-round pressing needs in our community for food, shelter, clothing, jobs, health care and other basic items in life so many of us take for granted.
Such needs have been highlighted through a series of recent guest opinion pieces in this newspaper that give a grim picture of life for many Kentuckians.
Last Sunday, Tamara Sandberg, executive director of the Kentucky Association of Food Banks, noted in The Courier-Journal Forum section that as most Kentuckians look forward to abundant holiday meals, more than 600,000 of the state’s residents — one in seven — must seek help from a food bank because they can’t afford enough to eat.
Many, she reported, are what we would call the working poor, households where at least one adult is working but can’t stretch wages to cover enough groceries to feed the family. People can find out how to help by visiting www.kyfoodbanks.org.
In that same section, leaders of two child welfare organizations addressed the state’s ongoing problem with child abuse and neglect that results in death and serious injury to too many Kentucky children.
Jerry Ward, chairman of the Kosair Charities board, urged everyone in Kentucky to take seriously the recommendations of a recent report by an outside group formed two years ago to study child abuse deaths and injuries and find ways to reduce them. Mr. Ward’s group is heavily invested in such an effort; people can find out how to help through the faceitabuse.org campaign
Jill Seyfred, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky, also cited the report by the Child Fatality and Near Fatality External Review Panel as a sort of call to arms for Kentuckians to join the effort to identify and respond to child abuse and neglect. Information on how to help is on their website, www.pcaky.org.
And on Dec. 15, George Stinson, chairman of the Kentucky Human Rights Commission, called on Kentuckians to do more to address the problem of homeless children in our communities, some 66,000 of them statewide. He calls the numbers “staggering” and “shameful.”
Just these few examples illustrate the enormous needs in our community.
There are many ways to help through local churches, schools, charities and civic organizations that lead drives at Christmas.
But opportunities also exist to address underlying problems of poverty, mental illness, substance abuse and low educational attainment that hold back so many.
This Christmas, take a few moments to figure out how you could help and resolve to do it.
Read the full story here on the Courier-Journal Website.