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Help people in need by donating all year, not only at holidays

Photo Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Nicholas Marotta, Ronkonkoma

The big holiday is over for us, but how would you feel if you woke up Christmas morning and there were no presents under your tree? According to the nonprofit United Way of New York, 35 percent of Long Island families do not make enough money, due to high cost of living, to buy a house or even food. This means that many families cannot afford Christmas presents for their kids.

It is sad knowing that families will not have presents on Christmas. The good news is we can do many things to change this. Many families are sympathetic to the fact that a lot of people cannot afford presents and are involved with groups to help the needy.

There are several programs that you too can donate money, clothes, food and presents to. One of them is Toys for Tots. Toys for Tots is a program run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. It distributes toys to children whose parents cannot afford them. Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to help all children reach their potential. In addition, many schools and communities have fundraisers and drives to help families in need. We can help by donating to these organizations.

Some of us already help, but we could donate food and clothes to the needy more often. It is important to support those organizations that help the poor all year. For example, did you know that in the spring most food pantries run low on food to give to the needy? Check longisland.com/food-pantries for more information. Even though the holiday season is the perfect time to give back, we can show our holiday spirit all year long, by donating food, clothes and, yes, toys for those in need.

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