Helping the Less Fortunate: A Holiday Tradition

With everything going on in the world right now – terrorist attacks in Paris and Mali, a harrowing presidential campaign with no end in sight – it's easy to forget that this is a time when we are supposed to count our blessings and give thanks. For years, the November season of giving thanks seems to have gotten lost as we segue from Turkey Day to Black Friday and the month-long buying frenzy leading up to Christmas.

For many, the traditions of Thanksgiving and Christmas include helping the less fortunate, and support from individuals makes a critical difference in the lives of people served by organizations like Volunteers of America. It helps us fill gaps in existing funding and to create new services in response to emerging needs. Donations not only allow organizations like Volunteers of America to serve more people, but also to address the quality as well as the quantity of services. It is the factor that turns public housing into family homes, and makes the difference between simply keeping people alive and giving them a life.

A few years back, a coalition of charitable organizations rallied together to establish "#GivingTuesday," a national social media movement scheduled the Tuesday following Thanksgiving to encourage others to give back to their communities. Volunteers of America is a partner of the #GivingTuesday effort, and I encourage others to get involved as well. Learn more about our GivingTuesday efforts.

As the holidays approach, we at Volunteers of America hope everyone will keep in mind the true spirit of the season, remember those who have experienced pain and loss, and focus on helping those in need. For more information on ways you can support Volunteers of America, please visit

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Mike King