November 28, 2013 12:00 am


Today is a day to spend with loved ones and express gratitude for all that we have. We give thanks for family and thanks for friends. We give thanks for possessions, thanks for our meal and thanks for having a roof over our heads.

We show appreciation for a lot on Thanksgiving Day, but one thing we may easily forget to recognize are the nonprofit organizations in Lompoc and the work they do particularly during the holiday season. Santa Barbara County has more nonprofits per capita than most other counties in the United States, and Lompoc is no exception.

The nonprofit organizations in Lompoc, like those across the country, serve a multitude of different needs and provide a host of different services. However, they all share one common goal. This goal is not to be successful in terms of wealth, but to find success in terms of providing value for the groups to whom they administer. They work toward creating a vibrant, sustainable, happy and healthy community.

During the holiday season, many charity organizations provide a hot meal for those in need. Such organizations include Meals on Wheels, the Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County and the faith-based Community Kitchen among others. Good Samaritan Shelter Services runs a holiday season turkey drive along with serving homeless individuals and families in Lompoc year-round. Toys for Tots, along with various sponsor organizations, gather Christmas gifts for children. The local Food Pantry and Food Bank of Santa Barbara County collect food items, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner items to provide to residents in need.

And this is just a small sampling of the work that is done in our community.

If you would like to help and donate during the holidays, there are many things you can do. If you have children, teach them about philanthropy from a young age. Teaching a child how to be charitable can balance out their natural selfishness for toys, snacks and other items. Families can gather nonperishable food items or warm winter clothing to donate, volunteer their time serving a meal for someone less fortunate while spending quality time together, or simply send in a monetary donation to one of the various nonprofits in Lompoc to make a difference locally.

So let’s celebrate Thanksgiving by giving thanks for what we have, and what our community provides so we all can celebrate the holidays with cheer.