Take the season of giving to heart this Christmas.
The Daily Bread Soup Kitchen near downtown Champaign does God's work every week of the year.
Using donated food and cash gifts, it feeds hundreds of people a week.
But as Christmas approaches, the soup kitchen is taking a different approach, intending to hand out donated backpacks filled with clothing and toiletries to adults and children in need.
Last year, the soup kitchen gave out 800 backpacks. This year, with the economy still in the doldrums, it's expecting to give out more. And it will give out more if the public responds as it has in the past.
The News-Gazette has already run announcements  about the kinds of donations the soup kitchen is seeking. Anyone with questions can contact soup kitchen board member Ellen Harms at 356-2551. We hope people give generously.
But it's not just the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen that is trying to lighten the load of the less fortunate as Christmas approaches. Local churches are asking their members to pick the names of a child or two from their "angel trees" and buy gifts for them.
Salvation Army volunteers will be seeking donations for their kettles.
Representatives of many groups are seeking the public's help because they see so many men, women and children who need help.
It's a cliche to say it, but statements become cliches because they are true. In this season of giving, let those of us who are doing OK assist those of us who are not.
Whether it's a child who'd like a gift for Christmas or an adult who can benefit from a backpack filled with clothing and shaving gear, there is much joy that can be spread and considerable pain that can be eased by remembering that it is better to give than to receive.