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Originally published Tuesday, December 25, 2012 at 12:03 AM

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Editorial: Season of sharing

The spirit of the season is best expressed by sharing what we have with those who need a helping hand to steady themselves and move ahead.

Seattle Times Editorial

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To find out more about The Seattle Times Fund for the Needy and the local nonprofits that use the money to help community members, go to seattletimes.com/ffn

Or send a check to The Seattle Times Fund for the Needy, P.O. Box C11025, Seattle, WA, 98111-9025.

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RISING to the hope and promise manifest in this holiday means accepting a share of responsibility for making things better for others.

Lingering economic troubles and stunning tragedies at home and abroad reinforce the lesson that we are in this together. We need to respond with the same grace represented by another gift, the birth of Jesus Christ.

Helping others without reservations, expectations or judgment is a pure reflection of the season. We cannot be reminded of that often enough.

The lattice of assistance to help others recover their lives and launch themselves can begin with a hot shower and a load of clean laundry.

The Urban Rest Stop, a venerable service in downtown Seattle, opened another outlet last August in the University District. Another respite of hygiene and restroom facilities for people living on the street.

Ronni Gilboa, program manager for the Urban Rest Stop, explains the virtual taxonomy of caring people using their resources, time and talent to help others.

Space in University Temple United Methodist Church was developed in a local community-youth shelter by ROOTS — Rising Out Of The Shadows.

ROOTS subsequently approached the Urban Rest Stop and the Low Income Housing Institute to provide hygiene services. Managing such facilities has its own skill sets. Understanding neighbors, such as Cafe Allegro, help.

A paycheck does not equate to affording housing and food, or that the landlord paid the mortgage. People end up on the street for all manner of reasons. As Gilboa notes, “poverty has a common face.”

The number of grateful homeless clients — who trend younger in the U-District, but includes older men and women, vets from Vietnam to Afghanistan and legions of employed, unemployed and underemployed — grows weekly.

The services, accessed off an alley between Northeast 42nd and 43rd streets, are “provided in a clean, safe and welcoming environment with dignity and respect,” Gilboa said. Further information on how to support the hygiene services are at www.urbanreststop.org.

There are other ways to help improve the quality of life for those who are less fortunate. Since 1979, The Seattle Times Fund for the Needy, has asked readers to assist local programs.

The current drive supports 12 community-service organizations with a range of assistance to match the demands for care, counseling, support and sustenance.

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