As we do our best to celebrate this holiday season, let’s not forget that there are people beyond our immediate circle of family and friends who are suffering, and could benefit from our love and generosity.

Over the past decade, I’ve been able to showcase scores of community organizations on my Triad Today television show, and in the process, I’ve learned that there are several ways we can help these agencies help others. The first is to donate goods. Second is to donate money. And, third is to donate our time. Of course, some nonprofit groups can benefit from all three types of giving. Here, in no particular order, are just a few organizations to which you might lend your support.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC

Even prior to the pandemic, the Piedmont Triad had one of the worst food insecurity problems in the nation, and that included the problem of childhood hunger. Now, with thousands more of our neighbors out of work, the problem has worsened. Meanwhile, at-risk students who had to learn from home much of the year, found themselves without the nutritional safety net that schools provided. To help alleviate the hunger problem, Second Harvest Food Bank has stepped up its efforts to distribute food to churches and nonprofit agencies that feed hungry people in an 18-county area. The Food Bank also partnered with a number of area companies to provide meals for kids. You can write a check directly to the food bank, or you can drop-off non-perishable food items at a number of locations in our area. For more information call (336) 784-5770, or visit www.hungernwnc.org

Cancer Services, Inc.'s stated mission is “to enhance quality of life for those living with cancer, and to provide the gift of life through education”. Their services include patient advocacy, medication and financial assistance, providing equipment and supplies, offering peer support groups, and much more. 90% of funds donated to Cancer Services, Inc. goes directly to providing client services. In addition to money, you can also donate used equipment and supplies. Call (336) 760-9983, or visit www.cancerservicesonline.org

Greensboro Urban Ministry is on the front lines when it comes to providing emergency assistance. Greensboro Urban Ministry provides homeless families in Guilford County a safe, temporary environment. Volunteers are needed to prepare and serve meals, manage shelters, tutor children, and perform a variety of other duties. Monetary donations are also much appreciated. Call (336) 271-5959, or visit www.greensborourbanministry.org

Mountain Valley Hospice is a nonprofit agency that serves an 18-county area in North Carolina and Virginia, and provides personalized care for patients at the end of life, as well as comfort to families. Mountain Valley Hospice has six regional offices, and operates two hospice homes. They also specialize in care for terminally ill children and veterans, and offer grief support for kids and adults. To give money or inquire about volunteering, call 1-888 789-2922, or visit www.mtnvalleyhospice.org

Petty Family Foundation

NASCAR legend Richard Petty and his family support a number of charitable organizations including Paralyzed Veterans of America and Victory Junction Camp, the latter of which provides an uplifting experience for children with severe disabilities and terminal illnesses.  To make a donation or learn more, visit www.pettyfamilyfoundation.org

Say YES to Education Guilford provides qualified students with college scholarships, and much more. Say YES to Education Guilford also provides students with support services that are designed to help them be successful in life. Their equity-based program begins in kindergarten and includes everything from tutoring to career counseling. Say YES relies in part upon donations from companies and individuals. To learn more about scholarships, or to make a donation, visit www.sayyesguilford.org.  

  Carolina Donor Services and Red Cross ... There can be no greater gift at this holiday season than the gift of life, and that’s why you might consider donating blood, and signing a donor card. Either gesture requires only a few minutes of your time, and will almost certainly result in saving someone’s life in the future. You can reach Carolina Donor Services at 1-800 200-2672, or at www.carolinadonorservices.org. You can call the Red Cross at (336) 333-2111, or via the internet at www.redcross.org.

Please remember that your donations of time, money, or goods to area community organizations is vitally important, not just now, but throughout the coming year. It’s also a way for us to expand the circle of people we care about, and that’s something worth celebrating in this season of giving.

Jim Longworth is the host of Triad Today, airing on Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. on ABC45 (cable channel 7) and Sundays at 11 a.m. on WMYV (cable channel 15).

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