Eye-opening. Shocking. Unbelievable. Sad.
Those were some of the comments we heard after publishing our special edition “Life on the Brink: The realities of homelessness in Newton.”
Many of our readers didn’t know about the issue of homelessness in our community, and many more were unaware of the local services available and the dedication of a small group of volunteers who have had their eye on this problem for years.
Unveiling this reality in our community during this holiday season was designed with a purpose. While many of us may strive to think of others, act generously with the gifts in our lives and contribute to our communities, it’s often not until this time of year we truly open our hearts.
There’s something about the season that draws on our instincts to be grateful for what we have and to be open to ways in which we might provide to the greater good.
So now is certainly a good time to give of what you have — your time, skills, ideas and donations. Reach out to The Salvation Army and see where you might be useful at the nonprofit. Contact leaders with Friends in Hope and Neighbors Helping Neighbors and get involved in their outreach efforts.
If you’re not in a position to volunteer or donate, remain aware of homelessness in Newton. Remember the challenges they face, and withhold your judgment. If you see someone who needs a coat or shoes, point them to The Salvation Army. If you see someone who might be hungry, buy them a burger. If you see someone who doesn’t have the basic human need of shelter offer them a smile, not a scorn.
Sometimes we think giving is something that’s seasonal but being kind and good is something we can do year-round — and it doesn’t cost a penny.
To learn more about Friends in Hope contact Linda Curtis-Stolper at 641-840-2417 or find them on Facebook. To volunteer with Neighbors Helping Neighbors contact David Goos at 641-521-8367. For more information about The Salvation Army call 641-792-2684.