Even though California is facing unprecedented fiscal challenges this holiday season, I would like to remind my fellow Californians about the importance of finding the time to give of our time and resources to help the less fortunate.
I encourage each of you to embrace the holiday spirit by choosing to help someone in need. If you pay special attention as you go about your daily routine, you may discover someone-perhaps in your own neighborhood or workplace-who needs a helping hand. Is there something you could do to brighten Christmas for a needy child or a lonely senior citizen?
Children’s homes, shelters and kitchens that serve the homeless would deeply appreciate your help. There are many things that we can do to make a difference during the holidays and throughout the year. In addition, by encouraging young people to get involved in community service, you will be teaching them a valuable humanitarian lesson that may last a lifetime.
Hunger is a serious year-round problem in our state and if you can spare canned or boxed items or extra clothing, there are many charitable organizations that will gladly deliver these goods to those in need. Many large stores have drop boxes for these necessities, as well as gifts for underprivileged children.
Even if you choose to brighten the outlook of just one child with a thoughtful gesture or a single gift-like a comforting teddy bear-the hope and joy that your kindness will generate will be beyond measure. Your local post office is an excellent source of “Letters to Santa” that you can choose from if you would like to locate a needy child or family.
Only through unity, generosity and the spirit of brotherhood can we realize the dream of flourishing as “One California.” Best wishes to you and yours for a wonderful holiday season!
From the desk of:
Cruz M. Bustamante
State of California