WINNEMUCCA - The holiday season marketing mania is on with a full-court press, to borrow a basketball analogy.

The days when the 24/7 Christmas advertising didn't appear until after the turkey leftovers were wrapped up and stowed in the refrigerator are long gone.

Black Friday is now Black Thursday, with some big box stores open for business on Thanksgiving, much to the chagrin of their employees who have to work.

But enough with the gripe session.

It's a special time of year, and made even more meaningful when the community opens its collective wallet to help others.

There are people in Winnemucca who can definitely use some help this year. You won't see them at the mall slapping their platinum charge card down on the counter at Macy's or lugging shopping bags of presents under both arms.

They are families living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to put food on the table, pay utility bills, pay rent, pay for gas to get to a job that may not pay much more than minimum wage.

For some in a society that appears to be economically segregating into the haves and have nots, it just doesn't seem to get any easier. When a family is struggling financially and kids are involved, it's doubly depressing.

Fortunately, there are caring people in Winnemucca who work tirelessly without a whole lot of thanks to assist others. This is a busy time of year for them.

The Winnemucca food bank can use donations, always, and especially with the Thanksgiving holiday next on the list. Buy a few extra non-perishable items the next time you're loading up your cart at the store. You can drop them off at the food bank on Bridge Street. They're nice people and they will be happy to receive your donation.

The local Boy Scouts will be collecting food this Saturday (Nov. 9) Leave a few nonperishable food items in a paper or plastic bag outside your door. You won't miss the food but someone will surely be thankful. The scouts will donate what they collect to the food bank, which will see to it that needy families are the recipients.

Got a hat or coat you're not going to wear this winter? Clean out the closet and see what turns up. Through Saturday, Nov. 9, the "Warm Hands Project" is collecting winter wear for adults and children. Donations are accepted at the three thrift stores in town - Frugal Flamingo, Poke 'n' Peek and the Sonoma Thrift Store until Saturday. The items will be given out on Nov. 16 from 9 a.m. to noon in the basement of the Winnemucca United Methodist Church at 138 W. Winnemucca Blvd.

Maybe some child smiles when he or she shows up and gets a nice knit hat and mittens.

The Humboldt Sun will be once again participating in the Giving Tree to make sure our seniors are not forgotten during the holidays. It's a project the entire community gets behind and really brings home what the season is about.

You don't have to give of anything other than your time to boost someone's spirits or make a difference. The soup kitchen can always use help. It's a tremendous effort week in and week out by the Winnemucca Ministerial Association. The Humboldt Hospice Thrift Store can always use help. Spending some time with a resident at Harmony Manor for a game of checkers or a chat brings a special reward.

We'll keep you posted on events and ways you can help out in the pages of the Sun.

Steve Lyon is editor of the Humboldt Sun. Contact him at