Acquiring local donations during the holiday season

Part of my job as managing editor is to read through and approve comments that readers make on the stories on our website.

Each year, as the holiday season draws nearer, there is one particular type of comment I see more and more– those from families asking how to acquire donations from local charities.

Over the years, we have published numerous stories and press releases about local churches and other organizations that provide meals, gift baskets and other contributions for free to those in need. We are happy to share news of these gifts that are available to the community, but our involvement with such philanthropy basically ends there– with providing the information about them.

Therefore, when I repeatedly see comments on our website from folks wondering how to get these food donations and other items, it’s a bit heartbreaking and a little frustrating, because these individuals are essentially “barking up the wrong tree,” since our newspaper is not the one providing the charity; we are merely the conveyors of information.

So, I’m writing this commentary in the hopes that I can get the word out about this situation and facilitate the distribution of the assistance to those in need.

If you are someone who is seeking such help, please contact the organizations directly rather than leaving comments on signaltribune.com. The generous churches, businesses and nonprofits will likely never see your requests for assistance on these stories– many of which are from years ago– and you may never get the help you need.

If you are one of these benefactors for/about whom we have published information on your charitable activities, and you want to directly reach those in need, feel free to enter the name of your organization into the search field on our website (right-hand side, but you have to scroll a bit to access it) to locate those stories, then scroll to see the comments from individuals and families seeking help. Then you can contact them directly to inform them of how they can reap the benefits of your donations.

One thing I’ve learned from working for the Signal Tribune for a decade is that there are so many great people in the community who are eager to help those in need. I hope this write-up helps connect them with the folks who can benefit from their generosity.

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