Give the gift of giving year round

Hampton Editorial: For the past month or so, businesses, charities, civic organizations and government entities have spent countless hours and resources raising money, gifts and food for those in need.

These drives and donations are a central part of the holidays, as it reflects the emphasis on the importance of giving during the season. People young and old pitch in time and money to make sure everyone can have a Merry Christmas. It’s heartwarming to see communities come together and support the less fortunate. That’s part of what makes this season more special than any other holiday.

But just because Christmas is over and the holiday cheer is subsiding doesn’t mean these people are any less in need. Giving time and resources to the members of our community shouldn’t be limited to the holiday season. Hunger, homelessness and poverty don’t end when the calendar flips to January. Blood donors, items in the food bank and clothing for impoverished families are 12-month needs. Giving doesn’t have to be limited to physical donations, either.

Educational, outreach and service efforts are in constant need of individuals to donate an hour or two of his or her time to ensure all people in these programs are given adequate attention, time and care. Giving takes many forms and all are welcome around the clock, even if it’s shoveling a neighbor’s driveway.

The holiday season is a beautiful time of year and projects the humanity countless people still carry in their hearts.

But that beauty shouldn’t be limited to just a couple of days. The gift of giving has no shelf life. It’s as appreciated on June 25 as it is Dec. 25.