Donations of goods, time go a long way on the Palouse
The holiday season brings with it much more than peppermint mochas at Starbucks. The world becomes white as snow blankets the Palouse, the radio blasts Christmas music and the TV is filled to the brim with holiday specials reminding us that the true spirit of the season is giving and not receiving.
Many people take this positive message of giving and run with it. Most nonprofits receive the majority of their donations during the holiday season, making now a critical time for charities everywhere.
The avalanche of charitable spirit is off to a good start this year. For 2014, Giving Tuesday — the day after Cyber Monday dedicated to donating to charities — raised an estimated $26.1 million for good causes.
Opportunities to give back to the community are not over, however. The Moscow and University of Idaho communities should seize the holiday season as an opportunity to make positive changes for a city that has given us so much.
One chance to help a local charity this Saturday is the ninth annual Palouse Cares Food Drive. Palouse Cares is a door-to-door food drive throughout 12 communities that benefits food banks on the Palouse. The food drive is especially critical for our community since Whitman and Latah County are two of the most food insecure counties in Washington and Idaho. Though often ignored, many people in the community go hungry every day — an issue that only escalates in the winter when expenses rise for many families.
If time prohibits anyone from directly volunteering to go door to door with Palouse Cares, at least have a can of food or other items ready for volunteers who will probably be stopping by on Saturday. Many people do not realize the food bank deals in more than just food and accepts donations of toilet paper, shampoo and conditioner to benefit those in need. Consider donating necessities many people take for granted when volunteers come knocking.
UI takes pride in community involvement, and many Vandals participate in the annual food drive. The Idaho Athletic Department, in particular, has made an extended effort to support Palouse Cares since the food drive began. All Vandal teams participate in some way with Palouse Cares, which assists the community and helps positively connect UI to the Palouse.
Use the holidays as an excuse to give, but do not forget Palouse Cares and other charitable causes when the season of giving has wrapped up. Charities need time, money and donations throughout the year and this need does not disappear with the drop of the Times Square Ball.