From Diwali, Thanksgiving and Las Posadas to Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and Dia De Los Reyes, this month surrounding the Winter Solstice is known as The Holiday Season here in the US. In homes throughout the country, this is a celebratory time of joy and fond memories over hot meals and warm conversation. Themes of family, community, kindness, generosity and good cheer cross cultures.
But, as Charles Dickens observed in A Christmas Carol, it is a time not only when Abundance rejoices, but also when Want is keenly felt. We know that there is no shortage of want here in greater Worcester. One of every eight families with children are food insecure. Over 1,300 kindergartners (62%) in the Worcester Public Schools are economically disadvantaged. The distress a parent experiences when unable to afford a Christmas gift for his or her child is something we can all imagine.
That’s why this is also the season of charitable giving. In fact, nearly ⅓ of all annual giving occurs in December. People in a position to help want to do so. Here at the Foundation, we see that in our donors all year, but especially now.
There are a number of resources online to help inform your giving decisions. The Holiday Giving Guide published by Charity Navigator is a good one. Locally, you can’t beat the Holiday Wish List published by United Way of Central Massachusetts. It will show you dozens of great projects right here in our region, and it also includes numerous organizations looking for holiday volunteers. From serving a meal to hosting a party for young families to sprucing up a neighborhood center for the holidays, opportunities to donate your time abound.
Above all, I'm hoping you'll be as energized as we are by the work of our grantees. You may view our list of recent grant awards here. We invite you to consider them and be inspired.
If you’re looking for more information or would like to explore options to give through the Foundation, give Liz Nye, our Donor Services Officer, a call at 508-755-0980, or send her an email.
However you choose to give, we at the Foundation wish you the very best for this holiday season!