I’m always amazed by the generosity in our community, especially during this time of year.

Just in the past few weeks, so many people have gifted money, clothes, time and so much more.

Here are a few examples from the last few weeks:

• Area bikers hosted their annual toy run which benefits the upcoming Crawford County Christmas distribution. They met in the parking lot of Big Lots with toys strapped to their bikes and made their way down to the Salvation Army. Approximately 90 bikers filed into the office and piled stuffed animals, toy cars and other fun toys on a table.

• At a separate event, but same cause, people donated toys and money outside of Walmart to the Salvation Army for the Christmas Distribution.

• The Pittsburg Police and Fire Departments hosted Badges and Burgers to help raise money for the Children’s Advocacy Center which interviews abused children at their facility, a safe and child-friendly environment.

• Various organizations, students and business have hosted or are currently hosting food drives, coat drives for area charities. Emails are pouring into my inbox from PSU students who are hosting a variety of fundraisers and drives — from feminine products to food.

• People purchased beautiful hand-made ceramic bowls for Wesley House’s annual Empty Bowls fundraiser, funds went toward the food pantry. The bowls were made by Pittsburg High School, Girard High School and Pittsburg State University art students and area artists.

• Inspired by one of her students with cystic fibrosis, Kaye Lewis of Midwest Regional Ballet, hosted a special variety show “Just Breathe” at Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

• Area civic groups have done so much I don’t know where to even start.

• I would be remiss if I did not include the many volunteers who help out at The Lord’s Diner every night regardless of the season.

There’s always something to do and there always seems to be a bit more during this time of year. Although I find our community’s generosity during this time of year amazing, we should remember that people are in need all year round.

Here are some opportunities coming up or are continuously available:

• Bell ringing for the Salvation Army.

• Match Day through the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas, if you’re interested in helping local organizations monetarily.

• The Lord’s Diner volunteer — cooking, cleaning, busing tables and helping people with their trays.

• Assisted living or nursing homes, some of the residents don’t have family around.

• Join advisory boards, committees or civic groups.

• Donate your skill, help a person or organization by providing a free service.

• Be a mentor for children through Big Brothers Big Sisters or through area school

districts.

• Walk dogs at SEK Humane Society. 

The opportunities are endless and I apologize if I’ve left any off of my list. Feel free to send any opportunities my way and I’d be glad to share or write about them in this column.