Christmas Spirit

Cierra Barrios-Ogle, Staff Writer

Times can be difficult in our economy. Our minimum wage doesn’t effectively support families in our community like it should. Mothers and fathers will sometimes go without food for a day or two, just to make sure their children are fed. Some children may only have one gift to open on Christmas Day and it may just be a couple pairs of socks, but they are grateful for them. As a high schooler, we feel as if we are useless in helping those who need it. But we can.

We can volunteer at local food pantries and soup kitchens in our hometowns to help those less fortunate. The Salvation Army (3007 E 23rd St. in Granite City) and City Temple Church (4751 Maryville Road, also in Granite City) are just two of the many, friendly food pantries located around here. Both food pantries have been around for about a year, and keep growing everyday with the help of us. Sadly, one of the main reasons why people don’t get the help they need is because they are afraid that they’ll be judged and looked down upon for even stepping into a food pantry. We humans are so quick to judge based on appearance and economical status that we forget that we all have struggles of our own.

There’s also a recently built “Blessing Box” located at Holy Family Church on 2606, Washington Avenue and another one at Niedringhaus United Methodist Church right across from the Six Mile Regional Library. The Granite City Rotary Club organized for these boxes to be established and are currently hoping to build more. You can bring non-perishable food (canned goods that don’t need to be cooked and prepackaged foods) and leave them in the box for those who need it. They will also accept hygiene products for both men and women, makeup, and small winter items (gloves, hats, scarves, etc.). You can not bring any kind of homemade food, as it can be a health and safety risk.

Christmas is the time for giving, so in a world filled with hate and violence, let’s bring love into people’s lives and show them the true Christmas Spirit of Granite City.