This will be a difficult Christmas for many | NevadaAppeal.com

This will be a difficult Christmas for many

It was a small blessing that the fire at Connected Church of the Nazarene didn’t destroy all the toys collected for Toys for Tots. Most of them will be given away at Christmas.

But the fire did expose something significant happening this Christmas in Northern Nevada: There are many families struggling to make ends meet and donations to help them are not keeping up.

Toys for Tots is just one example. Volunteers are attempting to collect toys for 860 children, but they’re way short of that mark so far.

Another barometer is the Salvation Army kettles. The good news is that the bell ringers are getting about as many donations as last year. The bad news is that last year’s collections were down $10,000 from the year before. The collections fund their charitable efforts throughout the year.

Said Salvation Army Captain Erica Helton: “We have seen a huge increase in the requests for assistance. The economy being the way it is, we’re seeing a lot of families dealing with parents who have been laid off from work.”

Not only are more families requesting help, but many people who had given in previous years are finding themselves unable this year.

That’s why it’s important for those who can to help others this year. Helton, who has served in other communities, said she has been impressed with how giving people here can be.

“Carson City has always been an extremely generous community,” she said.

If you are able, we recommend you focus on local charitable groups so the help stays local, and be wary of solicitors pretending to be fundraisers for charitable organizations.

To donate money, time or toys to Toys for Tots, call Brandy White at 297-1810. To donate time or money to the Salvation Army, call 887-9120. To help FISH, which operates a food bank and homeless shelter, call 882-3474.

For more options to help, see page A6 in today’s Appeal.

• This editorial represents the views of the Nevada Appeal.