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The News Editorial: It is better to give

Giving Tuesday was two days ago and if you were on social media you saw many posts trying to get you to give to numerous organizations.

Three years ago I wrote a similar column (so if this feels like déjà vu to you you are correct) about giving and the importance of giving locally.

Why give locally?

First, it helps out people you know, your friends, neighbors, store clerks and more.

Second, you can easily find out where the money is going and most, if not all, of the local opportunities for giving have the funds go straight to people in need. They don’t pay for salaries or benefits of employees. Your money or your gifts when giving locally is going for what you intend it to go to help.

So when and where can you give locally, well at Christmas time there is more opportunity than at other times.

Let’s start with this Friday and the Festival of Trees auction. It’s a great project in that it allows people to purchase/donate to a variety of organizations at once. More than 30 organizations are helped out annually with funds raised from the annual Pinnacle Bank event. The auction begins at 6 p.m. at the community center.

Saturday you can have breakfast cooked and served up by the Kiwanis Club of Worland at the senior center for a minimal price. Funds go to their local charities.

The ministerial association has their Christmas Basket program that gives individuals and families a Christmas dinner they otherwise could not afford. The Angel Tree program helps provide Christmas presents to children in the community who would not otherwise receive them.  

Applications for the Christmas Basket program are already being taken.

The Northern Wyoming News began a giving program last year to reach out to the elderly in our community. The Silver Tree for Seniors is here at the office. Pick up a tag and bring the wrapped gift back by Dec. 18 to make a senior citizen’s Christmas bright.

And there are numerous organizations throughout the city and the county that need a helping hand throughout the year including, but definitely not limited to the New Hope Humane Society, Search and Rescue, Crisis Prevention and Response Center, Sleep in Heavenly Peace, Worland Youth Learning Center, Washakie Library Foundation and the ‘Friends’ of the Worland and Ten Sleep libraries, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Washakie County Special Olympics (you can order an ornament for their Memory Tree to support them this Christmas), Worland and Ten Sleep senior centers, Washakie County Reading Council, Washakie Hospital Foundation.

Also this Christmas the area schools are participating in the adopt-a-school program to assist students in Kosovo. The program was started by our Wyoming soldiers, including Worland graduate Capt. Eli Varney. See the story on Page 1 for more details on this program.

If you want to give to a national organization do some research on the organization, check out their budget, know where your money is going. You can ask that of the local charities as well. They all should be more than willing to share where their money goes. Does it go primarily to salaries and benefits of employees, or does it go to help the people you are wanting to help.

Giving doesn’t have to be just one day on Giving Tuesday or just at Christmas. Give according to your desire and your ability. You also don’t have to give to an organization. Pay some kindness forward by buying someone’s coffee who is in line behind you at the kiosk, help buy someone’s groceries or fill someone’s gas tank.

You don’t have to use any money to give either, give of your time, your heart and your talent. Spend some time with a friend, visit people in the nursing home, give someone a lift to the store or doctor’s appointment who may need it, fix a meal for someone who may need it; if it snows shovel a neighbor’s walk, and not because they can’t, but because you can or volunteer with many of the organizations available in Washakie County.

There are many ways to give this holiday season and all year through, just open your heart and your mind to the opportunities.

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