Even a little help can do a lot of good

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From Morning Sun


This Christmas season, we are all scurrying to make thing wonderful for our friends and families.


That’s the way it should be.


But amid all this hustle and bustle, amid all the joy and cheer, it is worth mentioning that not everyone is so fortunate.


Unemployment in mid-Michigan is the highest it’s been in years, if not decades. Many of those who have jobs are worried about their security, worried about pay freezes or higher health insurance co-pays.


Many families have lost their homes to foreclosure.


It’s important to remember it doesn’t take much to help.


Numerous organizations in the area are working to make this a beautiful Christmas. Even a small donation, when added with others, can make a difference.


Toys for Tots is always a popular choice. Bins in the area make it easy to drop off a new unwrapped toy, or you can make a financial donation.


In addition, Jay’s Sporting Goods in Clare will host a bake sale to benefit Toys for Tots from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 12.


CMU Public Broadcasting also has a drive under way. This is WCMU’s third “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive,” partnering with businesses in central and northern Michigan to collect warm outerwear. In Isabella County, the Salvation Army will distribute the sweaters to families who need them.


In Clare, you can drop off a sweater at Jay’s Sporting Goods. In Mt. Pleasant, you can drop them at WCMU, Isabella County Commission on Aging, Biggby Coffee (either the Bluegrass Road or Mission Street location), and Central Michigan University Off-Campus Programs.


Christmas Outreach in Isabella County will continue to accept donations through Tuesday. Items can be dropped off between 1 and 7 p.m. today and Tuesday at Finch Fieldhouse at CMU.


Items needed are nonperishable food, boots, toys, hats and mittens, scarves, coats, winter clothing and linens.


The Salvation Army in Isabella and Gratiot County can always use a donation or volunteers.


If nothing else, dropping your change in the kettles outside stores is an easy way to help.


Likewise with the Commissions on Aging in the local counties. They provide valuable services to senior citizens.


The Coleman community holiday food drive is going on. A postal pickup day is set for Wednesday (you can leave out nonperishable food and a postal worker will pick it up) and the Coleman Fire Department will host an open house and boot drive Dec. 12.


These are just a few of the ways you can help this year. And do so knowing that you made a real difference.


Original article: http://www.themorningsun.com/articles/2009/12/07/opinion/srv0000007007009.txt