Perhaps you were up as the sun rose, prepared to tackle a day of doorbuster sales. Or, maybe it’ll be a lazy day after Thanksgiving, filled with leftovers and time with family and friends. The holiday season is taking hold with the celebrations of traditions.

Once again we are asking you to remember what’s important: those in our community who are in need. Consider this:

  • One in 10 Long Islanders is hungry and unsure where his or her next meal will come from.
  • Nearly 4,000 people in Nassau and Suffolk counties, including almost 2,000 children, are homeless. And our poverty level has risen in recent years.
  • More than 15,000 cases of child abuse or neglect were reported on Long Island last year.

In those stunning statistics are stories of our neighbors, our friends and others less fortunate. But here’s the good news: We can help.

The annual Help-A-Family drive by Newsday Charities provides a simple, direct way to donate to local organizations that help Long Islanders every day. What’s more, 100 percent of your donation will go to those in need, because Newsday pays the administrative fees.

Donations to Newsday Charities help organizations like Island Harvest, whose weekend backpack program provides food for about 2,000 children who rely on school breakfasts and lunches on weekdays, but need meals on weekends. Your generosity will allow The Safe Center LI to work with children who have suffered abuse or trauma. And your contribution will help the Wyandanch Homes and Property Development Corp. to provide stable affordable housing and support services to more than two dozen low-income families in that area. Those are just a few of the many organizations Newsday Charities funds.

As you shop and celebrate, please pause and give what you can. To learn more or to donate, visit newsdaycharities.org or call 631-843-3056.