With it being near the Christmas holiday season, it is a good time to think about how you can make a difference for someone in your community. Personally I think the best thing about Christmas is being able to give. I’m always excited around this time of year when I find something that I think a certain person would really like as a gift. It makes a difference if a gift makes someone smile or chuckle or think back to a happy time in their life. But, being the time of giving, it is also important to remember that there are a number of people in need in every local community in Ontario. “The homeless in North Durham don’t live on the street, covered in sleeping bags. They’re your friend’s adult child who moved home with their children due to the high cost of rent, the cousin who sleeps on your couch while searching for an affordable apartment, or the teenager you frequently see in front of the corner store,” reads North House’s front page of their website. For those who like to see their family members, friends or colleague’s eyes light up when they see the gift they’ve been wanting or never knew they wanted, you can imagine the same effect or greater for a local family, who have been struggling financially, receiving food, clothing or toys around the holiday season and what it means for them. In North Durham, I know of several charities or organizations that would gladly receive any donations people are willing to give. It is so easy to find a way to give back around this time of year, with many businesses, charities, groups and individuals taking part in holiday drives or initiatives. If you don’t have the means to give back, maybe you can do some volunteer work for a charity or cause of your choice. From covering things happening in small communities over the years, I know that people commonly come together to do whatever they can to help people in need in their community. I encourage people, if you can, to use this time of year to think about how you can make a difference for people in need, even if in a small way. Any way to help make life, and especially the holiday season, brighter for not only someone you know, but someone you might not know is a good thing.