‘Tis the season for giving, and a lot of people and organizations need to be on the receiving end of help this year.

Representatives from the Essex County Community Foundation, whose mission is to inspire philanthropy that helps the 34 communities in the county, and to strengthen and support nonprofits, briefed several dozen nonprofit leaders recently in Newburyport about the state of things in our region.

The good news was that in 2020, donors were more generous and gave earlier than in previous years, as the impact of the pandemic weighed on everyone’s shoulders.

In a joint letter recently, some of those nonprofit leaders — Link House, the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center, and Anna Jaques Community Health Foundation, among others — pointed out how the need is as great, or greater, than it’s ever been this year.

“As COVID continues to impact our communities, local nonprofits need our support and involvement more than ever,” they wrote in an open letter, published in The Daily News of Newburyport.

The Community Foundation says there are more than 4,000 nonprofits in Essex County focused on everything from community health to environmental education, affordable housing to food insecurity. Nonprofits help people struggling with substance abuse and addiction, advocate for victims of domestic violence, and they work to provide healthy and positive experiences for children and teenagers.

Almost everywhere you look, nonprofits are helping to improve our lives, help put many of us on an even keel, improve our environment and ensure we all have access to quality healthcare and housing.

The end of the year is a time when appeal letters drop into email boxes from nonprofits hoping to tap those people and companies that can afford to help.

So whether your interest is supporting a local Boys and Girls Club, boosting the work of the Salvation Army or a local church group, adding to the coffers of your community’s education foundation, or donating to the food pantry or a women’s health center, this is the time to show some love for those nonprofits who continue doing their work long after the season of giving has passed.

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