98199 help!

The Thanksgiving turkey is but a memory now, and visions of sugarplums are beginning to coalesce in our dreams.

But for some of Magnolia's residents, the holidays mean struggle and heartache.

Most of us in Magnolia are fortunate to enjoy a great standard of living as well as the opportunity to indulge ourselves in life's pleasures, but there are people in our midst who are on fixed incomes or have suffered financial setbacks that have crippled their ability to enjoy even the smallest of pleasures.

These neighbors include the elderly, single parents and people who have temporarily lost their source of income.

We Magnolians need to open our hearts and our wallets to help those among us who won't be able enjoy the holidays-or many other days-if they don't get some help.

There is help through our own, community financed, non-profit social service agency called the Magnolia Helpline. This organization provides voucher assistance for rent, utilities, food, gasoline, prescriptions, transportation and childcare. Additionally, Magnolia Helpline provides funding to Magnolia's Community Center, providing after-school care for families in need.

Thanks to the Helpline, some 15 Magnolia families who might otherwise have had little or nothing to be thankful for had a Happy Thanksgiving.

The Magnolia Helpline is dedicated to the people living in the 98199 zip-code area. While some neighborhoods are supported by a large number of contributors, with our small community the Helpline depends heavily on the generosity of its residents.

Funding for Magnolia Helpline comes from all of us in our community. Local businesses, individuals, organizations and churches provide approximately 50 percent of the annual budget. The remaining capital comes from annual fundraising events including Bike the Bluff and the Moonlight and Merlot auction.

This year, the Helpline is in dire need of funding as well as volunteer support. Volunteering involves a couple of hours a week, and donations are not only sorely needed-they are greatly appreciated by the Helpline and by those people helped out by the organization.

Won't you please open your hearts to those less fortunate, helping them enjoy a holiday season that stretches throughout the next year?

Call the Helpline at 284-5631, or go to their Web site at www.magnoliahelpline.org.

Mike Davis is a freelance writer living in Magnolia.[[In-content Ad]]