As the holiday season approaches, it is necessary that we all take a step back from our busy lives to appreciate the privileges that we have. Sometimes it can be difficult to see the good within our lives when everything is so hectic and dim. I frequently struggle to find the positives, but I try my best to remind myself of how lucky I truly am. I am lucky enough to be a first-generation college student with a wonderful supportive mom back home. During my time at college, I have had wonderful learning experiences through a variety of job opportunities, such as this newspaper. During the holidays, I am lucky to have a warm home and a full fridge to return to. For this and so much more, I am extremely thankful. This, unfortunately, is not the case for everyone during this time of year. The holidays bring cold weather, empty stomachs, and gift-buying stress for many people in our communities. It is truly a privilege to go to bed in a clean, warm house, as electricity bills can add up once the heat comes on. It is a privilege to have a table full of rich, delicious foods with enough for seconds and leftovers for everyone. It is a privilege to have family and friends to share a holiday table with. The list goes on and on. In the midst of the chaotic world we live in, I have tried to remind myself of my privileges and do what I can to help others. As a journalist, my greatest strength is the written word. My goal is to use this newspaper as a means of spreading useful information to the community that I have grown to love for the past four years. I want to encourage those who can donate to do so, and I want to help those in need find the resources that are available.
Below I have created a small list of organizations that provide support during the holidays. There are simply too many to share, but a quick Google search for local non-profits will provide you with a great starting point. If you are able, please pass it forward this holiday season. Everyone deserves a hot meal, a warm house, and an ear to listen. You have the ability to make this holiday season brighter for someone, so why not donate your time, money, or support? On behalf of myself and The Western Carolinian, I want to thank each and every one of you again for your outpouring of support for what we are doing. Keep reading and keep sending us your stories, opinions, and ideas. As always, our readers are what keep us going. Have a Happy Thanksgiving from The Western Carolinian Team!