West Mont in Helena needs new socks, gloves and hats to donate to Montanans with disabilities.

The Angel Fund needs new clothes, backpacks and school supplies for Helena students who can’t afford them.

Shodair Children’s Hospital needs puzzles, board games and books for kids receiving psychiatric care and genetic testing services.

And Giving Tuesday is the perfect time to fulfill these and the many other needs in our community this holiday season.

Following Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving each year as a way to kick off the charitable season when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

True to Helena style, our community has welcomed this observance with open arms, donating tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of supplies and cash on Giving Tuesday in past years. And we hope to see these charitable contributions continue on Nov. 27 this year.

According to Giving Tuesday organizers, one of the best ways for people to get involved is by donating to organizations and charities that help people in their own community. With about 15 nonprofit organizations per 1,000 residents, Helena has the highest density of registered nonprofits among the state’s seven major population centers, so we have plenty of charities to choose from.

To help shed some light on the great work they are doing and how the community can help, we invite these groups to share their holiday wish lists with us for publication in our Empty Stockings publication each year. This publication was included in the Thanksgiving edition of the Independent Record and can be found online at helenair.com.

The needs listed above are just a few of the many items these organizations are asking the community to donate for our less-fortunate friends and neighbors. We encourage our readers to consider adding a few of the items to their shopping list this holiday season, and the Independent Record will make a commitment to do the same. 

Nobody deserves to end up with an empty stocking for the holidays. Let’s all do our part to make sure that doesn’t happen in Helena this year.

This is the opinion of the Independent Record editorial board. 

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