​Although it is just the end of September, believe it or not, the Christmas season is just around the corner.

Although it is just the end of September, believe it or not, the Christmas season is just around the corner.

That means many local charities are going to be asking for donations to help those who are less fortunate.

So many local groups show so much kindness during this time of year and we are asking that if you can help, please do so. Any donation helps.

There's little question our economic situation is anything but good.

More families than ever are on some type of public assistance. People are working hard for less money and simply struggling.

The most important aspect of this is the children. Families today are struggling just to have enough food and clothing for their children.

Having a Christmas gift for their children may be out of the financial question.

It is true that Christmas should not just be about getting gifts, but it is a great part of the tradition when it comes to the children.

Many of us cannot relate to the struggles of families. We don't realize just how many families are struggling just to put gas in a vehicle or pay an electric bill.

Times are tough.

The number of children who receive free and reduced lunches at area schools has gone up significantly in the past few years.

That is one of the biggest indicators of how people are struggling.

In spite of how some feel, we as a society have an obligation to help those who are in need. It's one of the greatest qualities about this country.

The vast majority of people who are struggling are not doing it intentionally. Many are working hard, sometimes at multiple jobs, but the paychecks just don't match up to the amount of bills which are due each month.

Most don't want to ask for assistance but there comes a point when you have to feed your family and we should all care about those people.

That's where local charitable groups are so vital. And it's not just at Christmas.

Many groups work all year round to help those in need. We should applaud those efforts because the majority of it is through volunteer labor. It's people helping people and that is the foundation of our society.

We tip our hats to everyone who volunteers or gives to charitable organizations which help area residents. Without them, many people would struggle just to survive.

And if we can help a child receive a gift at Christmas, that is priceless. The smile on a child's face can wipe away the emotional scars of people who are struggling just to buy food.

If you can, give as much as possible to help those in need. They will appreciate the effort and the smiles of the children will last for a lifetime.