Season of Giving: Sewickley Herald launches holiday collection effort

| Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, 12:05 p.m.

Christmas is the ideal time to spread the love and joy of the season and help those who are less fortunate.

Everyone deserves to experience comfort and happiness during the holiday season. Families shouldn't have to worry about whether they have enough food to put on the table or whether the children will stay warm during the winter or be able to experience the sheer joy of toys at Christmas.

That's why the Sewickley Herald is launching the “Season of Giving” series to help guide individuals and families to where they can go to help others this holiday season and throughout the year.

Because of economic conditions, families are having an even greater difficulty paying for necessities, such as utilities, mortgages or rent and meals.

The added costs during the holidays make it even harder for some financially.

However, a number of local and regional organizations are ready to step in to help provide some relief — thanks to the generosity of people who donate.

For the next three weeks, the Herald will focus on places where families can donate food, toys, clothing or money to help other local families in need.

The Union Aid Society in Sewickley, for example, is accepting monetary donations and has set up Christmas trees in locations through the Village to collect gift cards so parents can purchase needed items for the holiday for their family.

Also, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program is busy collecting new toys and donations this Christmas for children as a simple message of hope.

A nearby distribution center is located in Ambridge.

Food pantries in Sewickley, Leetsdale and Coraopolis are seeking household supplies and non-perishable items, ranging from toilet paper to canned spaghetti sauce, to help make sure there's ample food for local families this winter.

Clothing drives and distribution sites also are in place at local churches and organizations, such as the Center for Hope in Ambridge, to help provide needed clothing to individuals and families who can't afford to shop at the mall.

While recognizing the local needs, schools and organizations also are reaching out to victims of Superstorm Sandy this holiday season, collecting blankets, clothing and other necessities to help those in New York City and other areas.

The Quaker Valley School District is accepting financial donations to its Quaker Valley Cares campaign for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund through Jan. 7 for the storm victims.

We are fortunate to live and work in such a wonderful community with an outpouring from people to help others.

It truly is a Season of Giving.

Debra Utterback is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1403 or

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