Sun Editorial: Give thanks … and give help

There are people throughout New Jersey who could use your help this holiday season.


With another Thanksgiving in the books holiday season has officially kicked off.

In elementary schools across the country this week, children were taught the history of Thanksgiving. Some celebrated it by making hats out of paper and by having a feast of their own. They were asked what they were thankful for and shared it with the class.

Quickly, as if in a blink of an eye, that theme now shifts to the two most famous winter holidays — Christmas and Hanukkah — and, with it, holiday shopping.

But before you turn the page in your mind to buying presents and decorating your house with lights, take an extra minute this year to remember what you’re thankful for, and help those who might not be as lucky as you. You might not see it in your community, but there are a lot of people in New Jersey who need help.

Legal Services of New Jersey, a group based in Edison, recently released a report that suggests 2.8 million people in the Garden State are living in poverty.

A family of four living in this state would have to earn $60,000 per year to be considered above the group’s poverty line.

That’s because, according to its President Melville Miller, the group defines poverty as being significantly deprived of any one particular need — after considering costs for everything from food, clothing, health care, housing and transportation.

It’s expensive to live in our state — we know that. And people are in need throughout our state, not just in its urban centers.

So be thankful for what you have, and help those who aren’t in the same position as you are. Do more for others this holiday season. It’ll be the best gift you can give.