From the editor: Holiday is not joyous for all

Published 11:57 am Saturday, December 21, 2019

Dawn Burleigh, Editor

While families prepare to celebrate Christmas, and they look forward to the joy of the season, there are some who are not so fortunate.

Sadly, there are ones who are preparing for funerals of a loved one who took their own life or a person trying to figure out if they can get by with one meal a day instead of two until they get paid again.

The check could come from the government or it could come from a place of employment. Either way, the check is barely enough to make ends meet and now the person feels obligated to spend what few ‘extra’ dollars they had on a gift.

These are things which effect our fellow citizens year-round, not just in December. 

Suicide remains a major public health problem, one that occurs throughout the year. It is the 10th leading cause of death for all Americans. Each year, more than 36,000 people take their own lives. In addition, more than 374,000 are treated in emergency departments for self-inflicted injuries, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

CDC works to prevent suicidal behavior before it initially occurs. Some of CDC’s activities include:

  • Monitoring suicidal behavior;
  • Conducting research to identify the factors that put people at risk for suicide;
  • Conducting research to identify the factors that protect people from suicide;
  • Developing and evaluating prevention programs.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) is a toll-free hotline in the US for people in distress who feel like they are at risk of harming themselves.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Take the time to notice the neighbor who may be struggling to make ends meet. Offer a plate of ‘leftovers’ to help stretch their budget. It also helps you from having to toss those leftovers later. 

Think of those living in a tent because they have nowhere else to go. They will not have a Christmas tree or presents to open. They won’t even have dinner with family. 

The nights are getting colder. Consider donating blankets to The Salvation Army or Orange Christian Services to help those organizations meet the needs within our community.

Take a moment to remember to spread the cheer and kindness all year long, not just in December.


Dawn Burleigh is general manager and editor of The Orange Leader. She can be reached at