The holidays are over

But the Christmas spirit of giving should continue throughout the year

Every year around the holidays, the generosity of people who live in and around Fort Dodge blossoms.

The familiar red kettles of The Salvation Army get filled with change by people going in and out of stores. Donations flow for initiatives like Share What You Wear, Bikes for Tykes and Coats for Kids. The volunteers of Community Christmas put together the gift boxes for needy families.

Those are some of the best-known helping campaigns in the Fort Dodge area that ramp up at Christmas time, and we’re sure there are others out there as well.

The holiday season is now over. Volunteers are no longer standing next to red kettles ringing bells. Other programs have gone dormant until next Christmas.

But the need is still there.

Hunger, sickness, poverty and other woes don’t disappear when the Christmas lights get packed away. Organizations like The Salvation Army fight those issues all year long.

That fight is conducted out of the public view, for the most part, and it requires funding. Helping the hungry, sick and downtrodden never gets any cheaper.

The generosity that’s a cherished part of the Christmas spirit gives charitable organizations a big shot in the arm every year. But as the year progresses, there really isn’t any other season, holiday or event that spurs an outpouring of donations. And all through the year, various groups are still laboring away to help our neighbors.

Those groups may struggle with their finances as the year goes on. That shouldn’t have to happen.

While Christmas is over, it is not time for people to close their hearts and their billfolds.

We urge people to donate to worthy causes, especially local ones, all through the year. Donations, even small ones, spread out over an entire year can mean a lot. Charitable organizations and the people they serve will be grateful.

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