As the holidays approach, all of us begin to look forward to some time with family and friends, an opportunity to give thanks for all that we have. While we enjoy this opportunity to celebrate with those closest to us, it is fitting and proper that we remember those in need, and that we do what we can to make sure that they have a happy holiday as well.
This year, I was happy to once again work with the California Water Service Company in getting turkeys out to charitable organizations throughout the Bay Area. But I can’t stamp out hunger alone, which is why I am asking all of you to give what you can. With the economy in recession, charitable donations dry up rather quickly at a time when they are most needed. Thankfully, we have many organizations that are up to the task of helping those in need. The San Francisco Food Bank and Second Harvest are some of the major charities that do a great deal to provide food for the hungry in our community. You can visit their websites at www.sffoodbank.org and www.secondharvest.org too see how you can help this holiday season.
In addition, there are many organizations within the local Filipino American community that also need your support. The Pilipino Senior Resource Center in San Francisco provides vital services to Filipino American families and their neighbors, most especially on breast cancer awareness and resources.
The Veteran’s Equity Center gives a helping hand to those brave souls who fought for our nation, giving us all an opportunity to properly show our respect for our troops. The Filipino Bayanihan Resource Center also provides for a wide range services for Daly City residents. The Filipino Community Center, which can be found at www.filipinocc.org, provides a meeting place for Fil-Am youth, helping them to stay out of trouble and succeed in their educational careers. And if you go to www.westbaycenter.org, you can learn more about the programs that West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service Center offers for youth, families, veterans, and those in need.
I know that times are tough, and it may be a long time before our economy fully gets back to speed. Family budgets are being stretched as we all try to figure out how to do more with less. However, that makes it all the more vital that we all pitch in and do what we can to help. There will always be those who fall through the cracks of our society, who don’t qualify for social programs and have no where to turn. It is our responsibility as a community to make sure those people are cared for and helped back onto their feet. This is the standard upon which a society is judged, how it treats those most in need. I am sure that we will again rise to the occasion and do the right thing. I wish you and your families a very Happy Holidays.