People are hustling from store to store gathering presents and other goodies to share during the holiday season.
Fortunately, many also are taking time during busy holiday preparations to find ways to help others who are less fortunate.
Signs of holiday season fund-raising efforts abound, from the faithful Salvation Army bell ringers stationed around town to the arrival of events scheduled to address needs of many in our midst.
Events in the days ahead will deliver good opportunities for community members to show their generosity and holiday spirit, to include Saturday's annual Red Stocking breakfast at Lone Star Steakhouse. The breakfast benefits the Kansas Children's Service League and long-standing programs in Early Head Start, Head Start and Healthy Families — all good ventures in place to strengthen families and keep children safe.
As for the bell ringers who greet us at stores and other sites, donations placed in their Red Kettles support a variety of ways to help others, from filling local food pantries to providing emergency housing, clothing and utilities to folks down on their luck.
Such efforts to provide aid are too numerous to mention. And, it takes armies of kindhearted people to pull off the fund-raising events so many people depend on — endeavors that become all the more important at a time many good programs could be hindered by state funding cuts.
Count the aforementioned Early Head Start, a program designed to help infants and toddlers up to age 3, and also give low-income pregnant women services such as training in parenting skills, as but one program targeted by Gov. Sam Brownback and his conservative allies interested in budget cuts.
Sadly, many other services that assist the poor, elderly and disabled could be in jeopardy in Kansas.
As the more fortunate among us work on the makings of a festive holiday season, it's necessary to keep vulnerable children and adults in our thoughts and prayers — and do what we can to help, whether in contributing a few dollars or a few hours to a good cause.
Tough times, after all, don't take a break during the holidays.