Editorial: A Meaningful Gift

As preparations are being made for the holiday season, the community is gearing up for donations of food, clothing and other supplies many Loudoun families will need to make it through.

It is always remarkable at this time of year to witness the armies of volunteers who gather at food pantries, worship centers and businesses’ breakrooms to provide a helping hand to their neighbors in need. Others are even more visible, including the hundreds of scouts who blanketed the county on Saturday and the bell ringers starting to appear at storefronts and on street corners. They leave no doubt that the needs will be met, and likely exceeded, in the weeks ahead.

But what about after that?

The needs don’t disappear after the new year begins or when the flowers bloom in the spring. Too often, though, the spirit of volunteerism wans once the holiday decorations are packed away.

If there is a lesson to be learned in the coming weeks, it is how easy, how rewarding and how impactful these volunteer efforts can be. It doesn’t have to be a seasonal exercise. Simply making a commitment to contribute some additional hours of your time or donate some more cans from your pantry each month or once a quarter can have a tremendous benefit to the quality of life for many. Those activities, if conducted in February or in May or in July, will be just as rewarding and perhaps even more impactful, as these are the times when supplies can run dry for the aid agencies operating on the front lines.

Think about giving that gift as you witness the community’s remarkable spirit of generosity in the coming weeks.

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