"You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give."

-- Winston Churchill

I'm sorry if this reads as bad news, but it is officially the "holiday" season.

With Halloween and the elections over, Thanksgiving will be here in the wink of an eye.

And, with the holidays generally comes an assortment of events, obligations, juggling, extra expenses and good old-fashioned stress.

But this can also be a time to give -- really give.

In the coming weeks, there will be loads of requests for food donations, help with distribution of goods to those in need, a chance to dive into a service organization's event.

For their sakes, as well as yours, I say go for it.

I've talked to loads of volunteers over the years, and everyone agrees that being a giver is oh-so-rewarding.

"Volunteers are not paid -- not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless."

-- Unknown

For example, you can pitch in with the huge event the Brentwood Regional Community Chest organizes annually. The group distributes an amazing amount of food and new toys to those in need in far East County. More than 500 families are given ingredients for a full holiday meal, along with gifts for their children. Volunteers are wanted for the packing day from 4-10 p.m. Dec. 14 and from 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 15 to distribute the goods -- all at Brentwood Elementary, 200 Griffith Lane.

The Community Chest was founded by Rose Pierce more than 45 years ago. For more information on how to help, call 925-634-3216.

"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth."

-- Muhammad Ali

The Antioch Charter Academy (ACA) I & II have doubled their annual fundraiser as a service project. The annual Christmas Tree and Wreath sale encourages local tree-buying families to pre-order a tree not only for themselves, but also one for a local family in need.

Last year, the schools donated 42 trees.

Nov. 16 is the last day to pre-order. For more information, call 925-727-7348 or email kypa_mays@yahoo.com.

ACA I & II are progressive, tuition-free public, K-8 charter schools.

For other events and organizations to help, check out our weekly calendar and/or call churches and groups in the area.

"Being good is commendable, but only when it is combined with doing good is it useful."

-- Unknown

The Pittsburg Police Officers Association is once again sponsoring area underprivileged families. Officers contribute year-round to this fund. But as the need has grown, so has the need to get more donations.

Last year, the group gave Christmas gifts and dinner to several families. This year, they're asking for unwrapped new toys, a variety of gift cards and monetary donations. All can be taken to the police department at 65 Civic Ave. For more information, call 925-252-4980.

Contact Trine Gallegos at trineg@att.net.