As I think ahead to the holidays, which are almost upon us, I’m thinking about those around us that may not have the extra income to create the television version of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, or Kwanzaa. There are a lot of things that we can do to stretch a dollar when it comes to food and gifts. Most people I speak with don’t want lots of presents. It’s about the quality and quantity of time we have with one another that is important. Spend an evening playing board games, cards or make crafts with the family or read a story together. Those are the memories we remember. The game selection at the local thrift stores is plentiful. They also have loads of used books and videos. Speaking of books, we have started collecting for the troops. We’re looking for gently used paperback books in all categories (except romance). Please don’t submit books that have torn pages, are musty and yellowed. Those should be recycled. The largest request of books are action and adventure, drama, fantasy, true crime, mystery, horror, and biography. There are also some requests for Self-help, finance, and books related to business. We are collecting at the USDA office on Kendall Rd. Once we’ve received a nice assortment, they will be shipped to enlisted and/or retired military. We are also collecting children’s books to send to families and schools that have been impacted by Hurricane Ian in South Florida. Any child’s book is welcome. Hard cover or paperback. Please make sure these are in gently used condition. If you don’t have spare books laying around but would like to contribute, each paperback costs roughly .25 cents to ship. A cash donation is welcome. We also welcome handwritten notes, letters, or pictures to include in the package. If you would like to volunteer in collection, sorting or distribution, please reach out to Crista at the Soil and Water Conservation District. Phone # 803-597-3160. Many blessings to you and your families for this holiday season. Please remember to recycle, reuse, and repurpose.