Perhaps you are thinking about something you can do for the holidays that lightens someone else’s burdens. It’s not called the season for giving for nothing. A number of organizations provide food baskets with turkeys, and a few collect toys for children living in poverty. Neighbor by Neighbor would like to give you some ideas for this holiday season that can continue throughout the year.

Gift cards are an awesome way to help someone buy what they need. The food stamp (SNAP) program does not allow those dollars to buy things like diapers, toilet paper and detergent. Dollar store and grocery store gift cards are especially practical. Recipients can purchase food they can and will actually eat. Think of a holiday food basket full of carbohydrates for someone with diabetes.

Gift cards for gas for vehicles can be a lifesaver for someone scraping by until the paycheck. We’ve all watched the price of gas shoot up lately, and that has a particularly hard impact on low-income people. We want to do all we can to support people going to work so that they can maintain their employment.

We need to help low-income people living on fixed incomes to stay safely housed and not have to go into the homeless service system. With the cost of utilities going up much faster than increases in Social Security, many must choose between paying an electric bill and buying food or medicine. Neighbor by Neighbor created the Sponsor a Neighbor program where donors give money to pay the electric bill each month for someone on a very low fixed income. Currently 13 Neighbor by Neighbor clients are enrolled in the Sponsor a Neighbor program, and there is a long waiting list. These are people who are unable to work because of age, health or disabilities. If you would like to donate to the Sponsor a Neighbor program, you can send a check made out to Neighbor by Neighbor with “Sponsor a Neighbor” on the memo line. You can also donate online at our website which is www.neighborbyneighbor.org/donate.

Gift cards can be mailed to Neighbor by Neighbor or dropped off at its office during business hours. The mailing address for checks and gift cards is P O Box 30, Union Pier, MI 49129. The office is located at 16170 Red Arrow Highway, Suite C7, Union Pier. It is recommended that you call first to indicate that you are coming: 269-231-0648.

Catch the holiday spirit and help your neighbors!

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