A rainy Thanksgiving seems somewhat appropriate this year. This area hasn’t yet dried out from flooding, and the pandemic seems intent on sticking around.

Sometimes the world wants to remind us there are things we cannot control. How we react is always a choice.

So here is an idea for this rainy Thanksgiving, no matter how you plan to spend it or how you feel. Focus on the giving, even if you’re having trouble feeling thankful. Doing that can make a difference.

For a variety of reasons, the need this year seems to be growing, and the organizations that typically help are feeling the strain.

For example, food banks usually rely on deep discounts to get the food they need to serve the hungry. Supply chain issues and rising food prices have taken those discounts away. Not only does food cost more, but some people who would donate cash or even food to those organizations just don’t feel like they can.

Other service organizations and charitable groups that serve as a safety net for people who are struggling in our community are feeling their own pressures. They weren’t able to hold the usual fundraisers that keep them afloat, and while many have tried alternatives, things are not yet “normal” for the helpers — much less the people they help.

Take a look at the giving guide, “A Time for Thanks and Giving,” included inside today’s Thanksgiving edition. Some of the organizations featured could use your help this year, and those are just a short list. There are so many local groups that are built around reaching out to help others and making sure this community thrives.

This valley has a long history of giving and taking care of its residents, sometimes with just whatever we have to share.

Even a small gift helps organizations like the nonprofit Skagit Valley Herald Christmas Fund. It’s been signing up families who need help for about a month and has found the need is greater than usual. Yet, the help that typically comes along from other organizations isn’t as readily available. That means cash and toy donations from individuals likely will be the primary source in making sure the fund reaches its goal to get a toy to every child whose family has signed up.

The saying “every dollar counts” is no joke. When people give what they can, even if it doesn’t seem like much, it matters. When a lot of people give a little, it becomes a lot. The act of giving itself means a lot.

Giving to help others in the community we all share helps weave the fabric that holds us together. Giving makes us stronger — even on the rainiest of days, even when flooding looms and even when the threat of sickness refuses to disappear.

Be thankful for what you can give; be thankful for what is given to you.

Be thankful for the rain because there are times it refuses to fall.

And yes, the sun will shine again.

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