This holiday season has me thinking about one of the popular books at this time of year, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

It doesn’t take a full bank account, multiple community connections or even large blocks of free time to make a difference.  In fact, many people who extend themselves do so with limited budgets of time and money.   It’s remarkably easy to reach out to others this holiday season.  From spending a few hours at your local soup kitchen, food bank or shelter to organizing a community drive to help people in need, opportunities for service abound.  Just before Thanksgiving, students and teachers at Hawthorne Middle School in Pocatello, and Weiser School District employees both gathered items to send to troops in Iraq--something that other schools and communities in Idaho have also done over the past three years.  Toys for Tots and The Salvation Army bell ringers are familiar holiday sights; helping them is very simple.

Service can even take the form of recycling and donating used clothing, computers, furniture and appliances.  Goodwill, The Salvation Army and other national and local organizations always need donations of quality items families no longer use.  You can also support our troops this holiday season.  In November 2004, the Department of Defense launched “America Supports You,