Holiday giving: A time for change

Holiday giving: A time for change
Pastor Joe Villalobos of Faith Fellowship Church in Vermillion knows firsthand how charitable donations, especially during the holiday season, can positively affect the lives of those in need. Pastor Villalobos stated, "People here are very generous and meet the needs of other people well. It's my experience that people here step up and help one another during special times, providing both hands-on assistance and financial help where necessary. We're more understanding because we're more grass root, we're more real life and caring about that. We understand the family concept."

Villalobos should know about how geographic location can affect people's willingness to give. He has lived in the South and the West Coast, and he believes that people in the Vermillion area are naturally more prone to help.

"There's always been a general struggle of living in this part of country, where people are separated by miles and people understand what survival is all about. Out here on the plains, there's a completely different mindset about what people might need," Villalobos said.

He's not surprised by the conclusions of John Stossell's recent report in the ABC television program 20/20. The show notes that the entire state of South Dakota and the city of San Francisco, CA, share the same population. On a per capita basis, San Francisco residents earn significantly more, but South Dakota residents are more charitable. Also, a higher number of South Dakota residents regularly attend church services.

Is it where we are or what we have been through? Or does this time of year just bring the best out of us? Whatever the reason is, every contribution, small, medium or large, counts.

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