If you’re like most Americans, this year’s shopping list will be shorter than years past. With the economy in a depressed situation not seen in decades, and unemployment levels at recent highs, many people are finding it hard to find extra money. Charities are one of the hardest hit when consumers start tightening their wallets. As the Salvation Army’s slogan tells us “Need Knows No Season”, it can also be said that need knows no economic turmoil as well. If you find some extra dollars in your budget this Holiday Season, we’ve put together a list of recipients to finish out your own budget and make someone else’s holiday a little brighter. Here are some ideas on how to help the less fortunate this holiday season. If you have the ability to do so, remember to include a few extra dollars in your budget this year to help out those in our community who need it! If you can’t help from a financial standpoint, there are still several volunteer opportunities available! 102.3 The Max FM Request-A-Thon, November 20-21st, with proceeds benefiting Make-A-Wish Foundation of Kentucky. For a $15 starting donation, request any song you’d like to hear on the radio. Prizes and other gifts also available throughout the 2-day marathon. http://makeawishky.kintera.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=291181 Angel Trees: Adopt your angel at local malls, starting late November. Area children in need benefit from this effort as residents are encouraged to pick a child from the Christmas tree to purchase clothes and toys for that specific child. Kroger, Food Angel Trees: Food Angels are made available from the Angel Tree at any area Kroger Store where people donate the cost of Christmas dinner for one Angel Tree child's family. Check your local store for more details. 5K Turkey Trot Fun Run, Fort Knox, KY American Red Cross Building, November 15th, 8:00AM. Pre-registration is $15, or $10 and a donation of a new toy, book, or board game for ages 8-15 for the Red Cross Santa’s Workshop. On the day of the event, registration is $20, or $15 and a donation of a new toy, book, or board game for ages 8-15. For more information, please call: (502) 624-2163. Phone Cards for Troops: New Albany’s “Holidays for the Soldiers” program encourages people to help the local VFW in purchasing phone cards for our troops serving overseas. http://www.louisville.com/content/happy-holidays-troops Toys for Tots: The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation will again be accepting toys for children in need at various businesses throughout town. As the holiday season approaches, keep your eye out for donation locations! Bell Ringers: An easy way to help a great cause: The Salvation Army has a $500,000 goal this year for their kettle campaign, so be sure to help them out with any extra change as you pass the bell ringers while doing your holiday shopping. They are also looking for volunteers in being a bell ringer. Please visit https://www.uss.salvationarmy.org/USS/www_uss_louisville.nsf Louisville.com will add more details and information as it becomes available, but as we each do our holiday budgeting, try to remember those who are in need. Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!