Make holiday spirit a year-long gift

To the editor:

It is always heartening during the holiday months to hear about and observe firsthand the amazing spirit of giving. Whether it is the Thanksgiving Day feasts that are provided to hundreds of households in our community or the winter jackets and holiday gifts that are donated to families in need during this time of year, one cannot help but be overwhelmed by the community's generosity.

With that said, it is my belief that we can still do so much more. Poverty and its corrosive impact present year-round challenges. So, wouldn't it be great if we could take the spirit of genuine empathy and compassion displayed during the holidays and extend it to a 12-month-a-year commitment?

What if in addition to the acts of kindness and giving described above, each person or household in our community agreed to donate a minimum of two hours a week to support a community agency? These volunteer opportunities are readily available throughout Berkshire County.

You could volunteer as a youth or family mentor, a community mediator or to provide administrative support to one of the many under-resourced agencies in the Berkshires. By volunteering, you can make a game-changing difference in someone's life, and you can gain a deeper understanding of the challenges we face as a community and help shape and develop solutions to address those problems. You can help redefine what it means to assist someone in need by supporting and working with community programs in a manner that engages people in addressing their own challenges, which will improve the quality of life for all.


Other than the Grinch, who among us can argue against extending the holiday spirit to a 12-month-a-year movement?

Brad Gordon, Pittsfield