Donate, give someone gift of hope this season

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for all the wonderful blessings God has bestowed upon us. We can be grateful for our families and friends, food on the table, and gainful employment. We may give thanks throughout the year, but Thanksgiving Day is a time when we all come together to appreciate all that we have.

This year, however, many people are struggling as the holiday approaches. More and more people are turning to The Salvation Army for help. For those facing hardships such as loss of employment, mounting utility bills, empty cupboards, and unpaid rent, mortgages and medical bills, it is hard to be thankful when they are worried about making ends meet. Many people — including past donors — are now without the means to purchase food for their families, let alone for a special holiday meal. But they can come to The Salvation Army for help! Food baskets and hot meals are provided to commemorate the day. We are so grateful that our donors trust us to share with the needy on their behalf.

This year, many local businesses and companies have chosen to support The Salvation Army instead of having employee parties or sending gift baskets to their clients. We are blessed to have this partnership as it allows us to serve more people in need. There are also people who choose to make financial donations to The Army rather than giving a gift. What a wonderful way to honor someone … giving someone else the gift of hope!

As the Christmas season approaches, The Salvation Army’s red kettles will once again be at the stores, malls and N.J. highway rest areas. Donations made at this time of year are crucial to the Army’s ability to serve the less fortunate. This year — with the growing demand for help — it will be difficult to sustain our Christmas distributions of food, clothing and toys. But with your help, The Salvation Army will be able to make Christmas a joyous celebration for those in need and to continue our programs and services throughout the coming year.

To give hope and help by making a donation, please visit www. salvat ionarmynj .org. Thank you for your support, and may God’s many blessings be with you and your family this holiday season.

God bless.

Maj. Donald E. Berry

N.J. State Commander

The Salvation Army