Helping those in need this holiday season


Kaelin Gaydos

Holidays are a time of celebrating community, making it the perfect time to emphasize just how much we should help others. Many of us are fortunate enough to be able to celebrate the holidays without worrying about money or putting food on the table. Some people worry about buying expensive gifts, while others worry about finding a warm shelter to call home. Regardless of what holiday you celebrate or whether you celebrate at all, community and charity are still well founded values. Why not help others if you can?

Here are some ways you can give back and share the love during this time of year. 

Salvation Army 

The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program collects gifts for children twelve and under. These children come from families who can’t afford basic necessities, let alone to buy their children anything extra. Around 8,000 children in the Louisville area have been signed up for the Angel Tree Program this year, represented by gift tags on Christmas trees. 

These gift tags have a child’s gift wish list on them. You can “adopt” a kid by grabbing one of these gift tags and fulfilling a few items on their list. Bags are dropped back off under an Angel Tree at specific locations around Louisville, such as  Mall St. Matthews, Jefferson Mall, Oxmoor Center and the Salvation Army. It’s recommended that each bag has one outfit and at least two toys. For more information, Visit their website for more information on the Angel Tree Program.

The Salvation Army also hosts Red Kettle stations across the country. You may have seen these bell-ringers in front of large red buckets at your local Kroger before. Those who can afford it can put some money in the bucket. All funds collected by the Salvation Army are used to feed families who struggle to put food on the table. It’s a simple way to give what you can.  Visit their website for more information on this fundraising event.

Family Scholar House

Family Scholar House is an organization that assigns families in need to people who volunteer to shop for their basic necessities. It can be difficult for those who work multiple full or part time jobs to find enough time to adequately stock up on supplies, let alone to shop for presents. Volunteers can sign up to shop for and purchase a family’s holiday gifts this season. 

Volunteers receive a family and list of wants/needs for each family member. Wants may be stuffed animals, board games, toys or crafts, makeup and items similar. Needs are usually clothes, socks, underwear, deodorant and other essentials. The list also has each person’s favorite color, shoe size and clothing size. These items may be dropped off at the Family Scholar House and then will be taken to that family. Visit their website for more information. 

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul 

St. Vincent de Paul is holding their annual “Santa Shop” this year. Parents who cannot afford to buy presents for their children go to the Santa Shop, where they’re able to shop for free gifts. Refreshments are also given out and it’s a very community oriented event. You can help by signing up to volunteer as an “elf” and assist with the food, shopping and clean up process. Visit their website for more information.

Tis’ the season to give back to the community. It’s a good time to help those in need and have a fantastic holiday!