Let peace on earth be in our thoughts as we kick off the holiday season, beginning today with Thanksgiving.
I know this a lofty ask, but we can all agree we need peace in our lives, even for just one moment.
We are celebrating yet another holiday season amid the COVID-19 pandemic with cases increasing in El Paso. Things are improving, but our daily lives are still too often filled with loneliness, uncertainty and chaos.
We are grateful that our U.S. military members, for the first time in a long time, are not at war during the holidays. Our challenges are here in the homeland and they are personal.
As a holiday song reminds us, let peace on earth begin with us. It can happen with a single act of kindness.
This holiday season the El Paso Times is partnering again in efforts to help others – the Senior Fund and Operation Noel.
When you purposely help others, rest assured you will feel peace in your life. That can be a starting point as we work to improving our lives in the coming year.
The Senior Fund campaign, which kicks off today, is focused on helping older El Pasoans with health and housing needs to keep them in their homes.
Yvette Lugo, director for the Rio Grande Area Agency on Aging, is one of our guiding partners. In tough times, she says, people bring peace to others by coming together.
“I continue to believe in the strength of our community,” Lugo said. “The Senior Fund is one such example. It has maintained its strength from the generosity of our community and the belief in taking care of our own.”
Operation Noel is focused on children. At its core, the holiday campaign works to make sure children it touches have at least one gift this holiday season – a new coat.
Operation Noel has been a part of the El Paso Christmas season for over 80 years. The goal is to give 20,000 children, ages toddlers to 12, in the El Paso area new coats.
“Please remember, in many situations, these coats will be all that these children will receive at Christmas,” said Dee Margo, the leading partner in Operation Noel and former mayor of El Paso.
How you can help
Let a sense of peace in our community begin with you.
The Senior Fund and Operation Noel rely on donations to operate each holiday season.
Residents can make individual donations or participate in a mini telethon on KVIA News 7 on Thursday, Dec. 2. A tax-deductible donation can be sent to Operation Noel, 601 N. Mesa St., Suite 1550, El Paso, Texas 79901.
School social workers and other charities help identify families with children in need of a warm winter coat. Each coat costs $15 and 100% of all donations go toward the purchase of coats. There is no charge for administration.
Operation Noel is a partnership with HUB International Insurance, the El Paso Times, KVIA News 7 and Mattress Firm.
The Senior Fund has helped elderly residents for more than 25 years. It is a partnership between the El Paso Times, the Rio Grande Area Agency on Aging and the United Way of El Paso County.
Residents can donate by visiting unitedwayelpaso.org and clicking on the donate button on the home page.
Checks can be made out to United Way of El Paso County and designated for the Senior Fund and mailed to 100 N. Stanton St. El Paso, TX 79901.
The Rio Grande Area Agency on Aging coordinates services for those seeking assistance. United Way handles donations, reviews expenses, and helps provide transparency on how the funds are used.
For questions about the Senior Fund, particularly how to apply for assistance or donate items related to the profiled seniors, contact the Area Agency on Aging at 915-533-0998.
Tim Archuleta is the executive editor of the El Paso Times.
This article originally appeared on El Paso Times: Senior Fund, Operation Noel kickoff El Paso holiday season