Our View: Holiday season is a great time to help others

December 12, 2006 12:00 am

No trait may be more human than our sense of altruism, that ability to give selflessly even when it doesn't provide us with any personal benefit. We see altruism all the time in Del Norte County, say when someone pulls over to see if you need help changing a tire or when a stranger in line behind you offers to cover the difference because you're a dollar short. But it's often during the holiday season that we think the most about altruism and giving.

Because of that, today The Daily Triplicate launches a five-part series about local places to donate money, gifts or your time during the holidays. We selected five different charities to show there are a variety of ways to help others. After all, some prefer not to give money or are unable to; others wish to help children, the innocent victims of poverty, rather than adults. Our goal is to offer choice and let readers make the decision about how and who to help.

But whatever you do, please help. We are not a financially wealthy county, and many will do without during the holidays. Consider that a full 1 in 3 Crescent City residents live below the poverty line, the Center for Economic Development at California State University, Chico reports. More than 1,100 households across the county rely on food stamps to feed their families.

Fortunately, nonprofits, government entities and civic organizations are working this holiday season to ensure no one goes without this time of year. Indeed, on Saturday we plan to run a list of the many local charities that were not featured. If you?ve organized a charitable program and would like to be added to that list, let us know. Please send an email to reporter Hilary Corrigan at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it by noon Thursday. Provide the following information: name of the program; who are the sponsors; how, when and where people specifically can donate; a contact telephone number we can publish for readers who have additional questions.

An example of how that information would look might be: Operation Christmas Basket; Crescent City Helping Hands Club; donate food items that will be placed in baskets for county families who can afford a Christmas meal, drop them off at Helping Hands Club office, 15th and S streets, Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; call Sonny at 555-1212 for more information.? Note that this is only a fictitious example, not an actual program.

We will publish only those entries than can be verified. And should we receive entries aimed at defrauding readers, we will report them to the police. One of the reasons many people do not give is because con artists have created suspicion anytime someone asks for help.

Our county may not have great material wealth, but we do possess a great wealth of character. Del Norters are hospitable, believe in helping others and will do the right thing even when the alternative would mean personal gain. This holiday season, we have many opportunities to demonstrate our good nature and make the holidays better for our neighbors. We hope you will join us in providing that help.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

What charitable causes need volunteers, donations? Send a letter to the editor via e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it