Here in the Twin Cities, the weather is already starting to turn colder. With heating bills expected to be at an all time high this year, winter will bring increased challenges to those living on the economic edge. Some won’t be able to pay their heating bills, others don’t have a home to heat. The St. Vincent de Paul Society is already reporting an increased need for blankets and warm clothing.
In addition, every day we read reports from food charities and food banks that donations are down, even as increasing numbers of people are seeking aid. The number of Americans living in households at risk of hunger was increasing even before the current economic fiasco, and the situation for many is getting worse day by day. The needy keep coming and the food pantry shelves simply do not have enough food to provide to all who need it.
I’m probably not saying anything here that anyone reading this doesn’t already know, but I write it anyway to urge us all to dig a little deeper to see how we might help in whatever way we are able. If you haven’t already gone through the closet to see if there are extra jackets and blankets to donate, this would be a good time to do so. If you are able to make an extra donation this week (and next week) to your food pantry, do it. If your own situation is such that you can’t do either of those, then add the poor and the hungry and the homeless to your daily prayers. And as you do whatever you can, hear Jesus reminding you that “whatever you do for these least brothers and sisters of mine, you do for me.”