On Centre: Around Philipsburg | Think of those in need as you plan your holidays

Halloween is over. November is here. Time to think about Christmas.

Yes, I know, respect the turkey. But trust me, this is about Thanksgiving.

We may be barely into November, but at the Moshannon Valley Branch of the YMCA of Centre County, there are already almost 100 families signed up for the annual Christmas program that helps those in need get connected to good food, warm clothes and a little something under the tree for the holidays. That’s more than half the number that signed up by December last year, and the Y staff is already preparing.

Judy Sinclair said she is most concerned about food. Often, parents that sign up are more concerned about getting coats or clothes for their kids and have the meal covered. This year, however, about 90 percent of those participating are saying that food is a factor for them. If that math holds true to last year’s numbers, that means the Y will need about 180 turkeys.

Sinclair said she will need lots of donations for the holiday meals, especially those big birds. The Y will accept gifts of actual food for their distribution, but they also take monetary donations. Whatever necessities aren’t contributed, after all, will have to be purchased. To make a donation, contact the Y at 342-0889.

The program has made a difference in many families’ lives over the years. It is the difference between another day without enough to eat or without a warm coat and a real holiday where you know people care about you and you know you have something to celebrate.

While you think about your holiday season, make your menu for Thanksgiving, list the things you want to pick up on Black Friday, think about the things you are grateful to have in your life. Then give a thought to the Mo Valley Y’s roster of families that would be so grateful for just a little of what you could give back.