Staff Editorial: The season of giving back to our communities

Staff Editorial

Dec. 2, 2021

It’s time to exchange giving thanks for giving gifts, because the holiday season is in full swing.

Already, people around the country are breaking out the credit cards and wrapping paper in preparation for yet another December amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the supply chain can’t quite keep up with demands this holiday, with companies like the apparel store H&M and Nike experiencing delivery delays and factory closures around the globe, and labor shortages ravaging the country. 

According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 10.4 million job openings on the last business day of September, meanwhile the unemployment rate was at 4.2%. 

Data released from the Labor Department in mid-November indicates that consumer prices have soared by 6.2% compared to the same period last year — the biggest one-year jump since 1990.

Many of us, despite the disasters occurring in our economy, still have the ability to shop for our families and friends this holiday. Some of us, though, are much less fortunate.

And there are simple ways to help:

In The Duke’s Nov. 18 issue, we highlighted local nonprofits and charities that aim to help those during the winter and holiday months. 

Local shelters and programs are looking for both new and slightly used apparel, as well as monetary donations to provide for the homeless community of Pittsburgh. Some of these include: Bethlehem Haven, Pittsburgh Mercy Winter Shelter and Light of Life Rescue Mission.

According to the Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, Gift cards are always the biggest need. Target, Walmart, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Giant Eagle and VISA gift cards give the organization the flexibility to quickly respond to the needs of clients. A quick trip to the grocery store to pick up a card could help someone take care of their family for a day, or even the week or month. 

Other options for helping include Presents for Patients and Toys for Tots, which are nonprofits that allow for long-term care patients and children, respectively, to receive gifts for the holidays that they may not be able to receive from their own families.

Tangible gifts aren’t the only way to help out this season; Giving time to these organizations by volunteering is enough to bring cheer to yourself and those who need it.

Many of the organizations may have different policies regarding volunteering during Covid, so it’s important to get in contact before getting involved.

Getting into the holiday spirit isn’t always about shopping and decorating, giving back to the community, too, moves all of us past the “bah, humbugs” and “blue, blue, Christmases,” after finals.