The Chronicle’s View: ‘Tis always the season to fill in for FEMA

According to Charity Survey’s Metro Market Survey, more than half of the $250 billion worth of charitable contributions acquired in the course of a common year within the United States are made in the few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

That means in a period of about 30 days, people in the United States donate an average of $125 billion.

While that number may seem impressive on paper and may offer a bright outlook on humanity, in the grand scheme of things, it also shines light on the general lack of charity in the course of the remaining 335 days.

With the staggering number of recent devastating natural disasters such as hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as the massive earthquake affecting India and Pakistan and the tsunami in Southeast Asia, this year has given everyone ample opportunities to give. The holidays just add one more excuse.

Although the disasters have enticed some to turn their pockets inside out, scraping for nickels and dimes to donate, there are still other causes, in addition to relief efforts, that need assistance.

Perennial organizations such as the American Cancer Society, Huntsman Cancer Foundation, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the United Way and the Road Home are just a few of the worthy causes that sometimes get overlooked when the media call attention to other, higher-profile needs.

And while it’s better to adopt a spirit of giving just for the holidays as opposed to never at all, charity should be a year-round attitude, not a 30-day trend.

With several problems on the United States’ economic plate, including deficit spending and the left-off-the-budget war in Iraq, as well as the outsourcing of jobs and the social-security fiasco, more Americans are calling for assistance.

Unfortunately, in some cases people’s cries for help go unanswered because they are drowned out by the plethora of other problems facing the world.

In short, the economy is not in the best shape, and the actual cost of living dwarfs the minimum wage.

This means that more and more people are left in the cold, wondering where they will get their next meal.

Food insecurity is a real problem locally, nationally and globally. It’s a problem that we cannot hope to solve with the usual late holiday rush of $125 billion.

This holiday season, think of your fellow Utahns, Americans and human beings who are struggling in their various afflictions. Reach deeper into your pockets with a healthy giving attitude.

And remember, don’t give up on charity after the holidays. There is life after December.

Just because there aren’t volunteers clad in Santa suits out ringing bells doesn’t mean there isn’t an urgent need for gifts.

If you are looking to donate to a specific organization with local ties, visit, click on the dropdown bar under “browse by region,” click Mountain West and then select Utah. Your potential donation is always needed.