EDITORIAL: Holiday giving

This is the time when many charitable organizations collect the majority of their donations.

With Thanksgiving, Halloween and Remembrance Day in the rearview mirror, the holiday season now kicks it up a notch in preparation for Christmas.

Streets are being decorated, as is the mall and other local businesses. Christmas carols can be heard on the radio and Santa is arriving all around the Kootenay.

But the holiday season doesn’t just bring out shoppers and carollers. This is the time when many charitable organizations collect the majority of their donations. The holiday season is crucial for groups like The Salvation Army, food banks and other charities and foundations. You can already find the red kettles out on the street and in the malls, collecting funds for those in need.

But why is it that this holiday brings out people’s generosity? While there are those who donate their time and money to help charities all-year long, Christmas is the time when the casual giver opens up their wallets to lend a hand to others. It could be that the spirit of giving merely over takes us, or perhaps we feel a certain amount of peer pressure to donate at this time.

Or maybe it is the charities themselves that help us along by providing a little extra nudge. It’s likely a combination of all of the above.

Charities know that this is the most important time of the year and need to bring in as many donations as possible in order to serve an ever-growing need. They will advertise and promote their campaigns harder than ever — and so they should. Giving shouldn’t be something you do once a year. You have to wonder how many more people could be helped, if we gave this way all-year long. Make sure you have some spare change and give what you can.