The Free Press
Despite the confidence that the Mankato area community will rise to the occasion once again, this is about the time of year that charitable gift drive organizers get a little nervous.
There are still Holiday Sharing Tree gift requests that haven't been picked up and filled, or there are cards that were taken but not brought back with a gift yet to a drop-off site. And the deadline is Saturday. As in one day away.
Other charitable gift drives also are coming to a close and some of the donation bins for toys have plenty of room in them, or the requests for senior citizen gifts still silently hang on trees in local drugstores.
The holidays can be an overwhelming time for a lot of people. They have long gift lists to fill for loved ones, as well as numerous requests from various nonprofits to find a little extra to share with those in need.
The great thing about this community is that those requests get the attention they deserve. People recognize the fact they are in a better situation than others in the community and are willing to chip in to brighten the holidays for those in need. That might mean buying a warm pair of socks for a grandma who doesn't get visitors or a new toy for a toddler who usually gets hand-me-downs from siblings.
Whatever your organization of choice is -- whether it be Toys for Tots, Santa Anonymous, Holiday Sharing Tree as well as other reputable programs -- make sure it's not an afterthought to the rest of your holiday plans. Some of the donations are the only gift some people receive.
At the Holiday Sharing Tree alone, this year they have 3,500 people of all ages to get gifts for. And in the 26 years of the program, never once have they left people giftless.