As the holidays approach us, it’s easy to get swept away in the joy of the season. The sweet scent of fresh-baked cookies drifts from open windows, past twinkling lights on decorated homes, and moves to busy downtown streets. Christmas carols can be heard twisting in and out of crowded stores as families prepare for their feasts. Children, bright-eyed, gaze longingly at shelved toys, gadgets, and gizmos, unaware that they are already wrapped and tucked safely under the tree.
Amidst all this holiday cheer, many people in our community face hardships that become more difficult to manage during the holidays and cold winter months. Some of our neighbors may be struggling to pay utilities or housing costs. Others may be hungry and not know when they will have their next meal. Children in foster care who have been separated from their families and loved ones may feel frightened and lonely.
The United Way network of funded partners unites to help tackle these issues through the holidays.
Jackson Senior Center helps provide weekday meals and engaging activities for seniors who otherwise might not have the opportunity to enjoy a hot and healthy meal or socialize with others outside of their homes. Scott City Ministerial Alliance and Little Whitewater Food Pantry provide canned and dry food for people who may not be able to purchase many items from a traditional store. Hope for One More teams up with community members to organize family meals and Christmas gifts, brightening the holidays for local children in foster care. The Salvation Army provides hot showers and utility assistance, as well as hosts Meals with Friends at the end of each month, where the whole community is welcome to sit and enjoy a filling meal and fellowship. In December, The Salvation Army also provides an additional packaged holiday meal for those unable to afford a big holiday feast. Community Partnership of Southeast Missouri’s NeighborHub in Cape and New Life Mission Inn’s Drop-in Center in Perryville invite our homeless neighbors to take a hot shower, wash laundry, and receive other services.
Though United Way partners are hard at work, we could not lift our neighbors without the support of our community. Here is how you can help others through United Way this holiday season.
- Give. Thanks to our corporate investors, 98% of every individual donation goes directly to the programs we invest in. Make a one-time or recurring gift to help others this holiday season. Donate Now.
- Advocate. Be a positive voice for United Way. Help us by completing our Community Survey and sharing it with others in our area. Follow United Way of Southeast Missouri on Facebook and Instagram to see United Way in action this season.
- Volunteer. There’s no better time than the holidays to volunteer your time to someone else. Visit our Volunteer page to find current one-time and recurring volunteer opportunities. Sign-up for our quarterly Volunteer Newsletter to receive updates