Editorial: Gifts

This is the time of year when most people are gearing up for Christmas and Hanukah, two religious holidays that are celebrated with much gift giving.
It’s a festive time for many families, but it can be a difficult time for others. Those who have lost loved ones often struggle with loneliness. Those who face health issues — their own or those for whom they give care — battle fatigue and are often overwhelmed by the extra obligations that accompany the holidays.
There are many who cope every day with financial struggles, too, and for them, the holidays put a strain on already too-tight budgets.
Wilton is a town that offers many opportunities to help and be helped. It’s not too late to spread some cheer.
When you are shopping in Wilton Center and other stores, place a new toy in the police cruiser that will be parked near The Toy Chest on River Road Saturday from 9:30 to 2. Not in that area? There are numerous collection points around town. Check our story online at http://bit.ly/2h2z8jL.
The Wilton unit of the Salvation Army helps residents with utility bills, home heating oil bills, and rent. It also supplies Payless gift cards to provide needy Wilton students with shoes. Donations may be sent to “Wilton Unit, Salvation Army” c/o Nancy Milnamow, 35 Woods End Drive, Wilton CT 06897.
The food pantry supplements the meals of more than a few people in town. You can bring a grocery bag full of non-perishable food, personal care items or paper products to the Department of Social Services at Comstock Community Center, 180 School Road.
When buying a gift, pick up an extra gift card and drop it at the Social Services office. This year 123 Wilton children and teenagers will receive Christmas or Hanukah gifts or gift cards through Social Services. Senior Services coordinator Lauren Hughes is also trying to collect gift cards so families may go to a holiday movie. Donations of Visa, MasterCard or Amex gift cards or gift cards for Bow Tie Cinemas would be appreciated. They may be taken or mailed to the office.
Paying bills? Drop a small check in the mail to the Wilton Community Assistance Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit fund that provides emergency assistance to Wilton residents. Donations may be earmarked for the food pantry, fuel assistance, housing, medical, or holiday gifts. Undesignated funds are used at the director’s discretion.
If things are tight for you, give of yourself — call Social Services at 203-834-6238 and ask where and when you can volunteer, or simply do small, random acts of kindness. These are the greatest, most appreciated gifts of all.
Hughes expressed a “tremendous thank-you to this community for their generosity.” She has worked here 22 years and said,“It never ceases to amaze me how generous people in this community are.”