Editor’s column: Taking part in the giving season

By Shiloh Appel
Yesterday was Giving Tuesday. Established in 2012 as the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving in which an international day of benevolent giving is celebrated, this day is often honored by donations to charities and gifts to the less fortunate.
However, the day kicks off the entire “giving season” in America with the Christmas season being a time of year when giving is most abundant. In the Christmas spirit, many have already started preparing homemade gifts for loved ones and even strangers since the beginning of November. For those of you who would like some giving ideas this season, below is a list of fun things that can be done in our community and from your own home.
Some ways to give this Christmas season:

*Pack an Operation Christmas Child shoebox online
Although the national collection week for these shoeboxes filled with gifts for children around the world was mid-November, it is not too late to pack a shoebox with gifts online. The shoeboxes are delivered to children in the poorest regions of the world, some who have never owned toys, school supplies or personal hygiene items in their lives. To pack a shoebox, go to www.samartianspurse.org.

*Take part in the local Angel Tree program
Angel Tree is a program of Prison Fellowship that connects parents in prison with their children through the delivery of Christmas gifts. Parents can list gift ideas for their children, which are written on paper angel ornaments with the child’s name. These ornaments are displayed on a Christmas tree where volunteers can take an ornament and buy the gifts for the child, then return to place the gifts under the tree. In Redfield, there is an Angel Tree located at the Redfield Carnegie Library. If you would like to volunteer, stop in at the library before the end of the month. Gifts are due back at the tree by Tuesday, December 11th.

*Donate or volunteer at the Tri County Good Samaritan
(or your local Goodwill)
The Tri County Good Samaritan in Redfield serves those in need in Spink, Hand and Faulk Counties. The center is very busy this time of year packing gifts for families who cannot afford gifts. Volunteers are welcomed. Dry food items and donations are also welcomed.
Donations can also be made at the Redfield Food Center.

*Make some home made Christmas ornaments or some other DIY gifts
Homemade Christmas ornaments are fun, memorable and endearing mementos and make great gifts for family members and friends. The process of making the ornaments also brings friends and families closer. Ornament making can be turned into a party! Some popular types of home made ornaments are salt dough ornaments, a simple kind that is made out of flour, water and salt and baked in the oven; popsicle stick ornaments; pom-pom ornaments;  foam ball ornaments, you name it. Recipes for these ornaments can easily be found online.
For DIY gifts, get creative! These gifts are especially treasured because of the time and thought put into them.
*Buy hats and mittens for your local hat and mitten trees, or create your own
There are a few hat and mitten trees going up in local businesses around town. The hat and mitten tree at the Senior Citizens Center in Redfield will be accepting hats and mittens from November 26th through 29th, as mentioned in last week’s press. Hats and mittens can be purchased at the Senior Citizens Center to hang on the tree. Donations from elsewhere are also welcome. Hats and mittens will be donated to children in need at the Redfield School.
Creating your own hat and mitten tree is also not hard to do! You can simply set up a tree, accept donations, and donate the hats and mittens to those in need before Christmas.
These are only a few ideas on ways to give this Christmas season. If you have some unique ideas, feel free to write a letter to the Redfield Press and share your ideas with everyone!