Remember tornado victims during giving season

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM SODDERS - Much of the northeast Marshalltown area is still marked by twisted and broken trees, many of the neighborhoods dotted with blue tarps to keep the elements at bay. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials decided not to grant individual assistance funding to Marshalltown residents last week Ñ that decision may impact the uninsured and underinsured people hit by the tornado.

November and December tend to be a time of giving and generosity. People make philanthropic donations, volunteer their time, give food items and initiate supply drives. So many organizations in our communities are worthy of donations as they work on any variety of issues to help those less fortunate than us.

This year, we need to keep all those impacted by the tornado in mind. We’ve all learned that recovery is hard-fought and will take time. While much has changed since July 19, homes and businesses are still gone and many people are still suffering. If you are able, give to a cause that’s helping tornado victims.

There are several organizations working to help victims. Some of the most prominent funding drives include Mid-Iowa Community Action, United Way, the Community Foundation of Marshall County and the Marshalltown Central Business District. The House of Compassion, Salvation Army and the Emergency Food Box all collect food or supplies. There are many, many other organizations and groups helping out and you should have no trouble finding a way to help whether that’s through money, item donations or giving of your time.

At this time of year, many families are also setting a budget for the upcoming year. Remember to budget for philanthropy rather than giving as an afterthought. When you budget for philanthropic efforts, it’s easier to eliminate some of the extra materials we get for ourselves that we don’t really need.

Consider giving up some of your clothes that you no longer wear. Maybe grab a couple of extra food goods when you’re shopping that you can donate. Consider eliminating some or all of gift giving during the year to give to those who need it.

Let’s continue to be Marshalltown Strong in tornado recovery efforts and give to those who need it.