Another way to help local food pantries is by stopping by and watching the annual CP Rail Holiday Train pull into town. The train will be coming through Friday Nov. 30, and making stops in Whitehall (2:30 p.m.), Ticonderoga (4 p.m.), Port Henry (5:45 p.m.), Plattsburgh (8:15 p.m.) and Rouses Point (10 p.m.). Visitors are asked to bring nonperishable food items to the train station, then stay to enjoy music, events and a beautifully decorated train.
There are also those who are helping to make sure that families can provide gifts to their children in tough economic times. Some may say that if you can’t afford gifts, then go without; or gifts are not what make the season. While gifts may not make the season, try to put yourself back in the shoes of a young child returning to school after the holiday break or seeing friends for the first time after Christmas morning. How would it feel to sit there and listen to all of your friends talking about their shiny new toy or show up dressed in new clothes while there was nothing under your tree? Not a pleasant thought.
The need continues to grow. In Elizabethtown, teachers at ELCS have found that their donations are no longer enough to fuel their Secret Santa Society, and so they are seeking the help of the community. They are accepting donations of toys, clothes and money through Dec. 14.
There are also those churches who are taking part in the Operation Christmas Child Program. Denton Publications and Families First of Essex County are partnering for the fifth annual Operation Boxed Smile Program. There is the Adopt-a-Family program at CVPH, Toys For Kids, the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program and many more.
Then, there are the familiar, “Red Kettles,” that accompany the annual American Red Cross donation drive. There are many who volunteer their time, standing in the cold, ringing a bell and giving a smile to everyone who passes by. We ask that you return the smile and some change any chance you get, whether one time or many.
Through these many chances to give, we can all find an appropriate way to help our neighbors and help provide everyone with a truly happy holidays.
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