Weekly Feature

2015-02-26 / Editorial

Frigid weather brings to light needs of community

Bee Editorial

It is during the cold winter months that many people become grateful for the means they possess to take shelter from the frigid outside world.

While many complain about the difficulties of dealing with subzero weather, few realize how fortunate they may be.

Cold weather and winter clothing drives go hand in hand, especially in an area such as Buffalo, which can experience winter weather for as many as six months of the year. Generous citizens with a little to spare hand over their gently used garments, and some purchase new hats, coats, gloves, scarves and boots to help others stay warm.

Recently, one group did just that.

The Save Our Western New York Psychiatric Center Coalition partnered with a Family Help Center in Buffalo on the West Seneca border to offer children of little means warm winter gear — and what better time than in a determined cold snap that doesn’t seem to end. When the holidays are over so are the constant reminders to help those in need by giving a little extra at what is possibly the most difficult financial time of the year. Although those efforts are appreciated by the people they benefit, the need continues long after the silver bells stop ringing.

There are many ways to give back to one’s community throughout the year.

Websites such as www.volunteermatch.org can be an excellent starting point for people who are unsure of what they have to offer. This site pairs individual interests, skills and desires with organizations in the community seeking assistance. Or, the volunteer can simply enter an area code where he or she wants to spend some time, and results will be produced.

Other outlets for seeking volunteer opportunities include local government boards, fire and police departments, the Chamber of Commerce, school board websites, community and youth centers, libraries and local churches.

If the first place contacted is not currently in need of volunteers, keep going. Somewhere there is a need waiting.

Volunteering can be as simple as helping a neighbor clear sidewalks, driveways and fire hydrants from the mountains of snow that don’t melt.

In an area of such great diversity, there lies also a gap in services and finances.

Reach out to others to lend a helping hand, lift another person’s spirit or make someone’s day a little brighter.

If for no other reason, do it for the peace of mind and satisfaction that comes from knowing a goal was accomplished and a life was made better for the effort.

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