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Charity

Helping Others is the Best Gift of All

This time of year tends to bring out the spirit of giving in most of us. But a report from WalletHub suggests there are fewer people in West Virginia willing to give than in other parts of the country.

In its list of “Most Charitable States in America,” the Mountain State ranked a disappointing 45th — only Rhode Island, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arizona and New Mexico were worse. West Virginia was, of course, also 50th in terms of being the poorest states, and therefore sat squarely in the middle of the “Poorest and Least Charitable” category.

On the other hand, neighboring Ohio was ranked 9th overall in the survey, and fell nicely into the “Poorest and Most Charitable” category, proving the impulse to help others is not just about income level.

One brighter spot came in West Virginia’s ranking of 27th for volunteering and service. Still not in the top half of states, but better than the financial components of the report.

Charitable giving is decreasing all over the U.S., with our nation dropping to 19th place last year on the World Giving Index. WalletHub’s report also found blue states tended to be better givers than red states, with liberal leaning states having an average ranking of 23.48, and more conservative states having an average ranking of 28.17.

The need here in West Virginia can seem overwhelming.

But there are plenty among us who have the means to make a difference, should they so choose. If you can volunteer, do so. If you can give money, supplies or have other resources that might help, give.

Even if you never meet the people for whom your contribution will be a lifeline, you can smile knowing you are doing what you can, and you are making a difference.

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