The holidays are quickly approaching us here in the Treasure Valley and that means a variety of things for everyone. What is the most wonderful time of the year for some can be the most stressful time of the year for others. All across the Treasure Valley, families and kids alike are anticipating the annual holiday craziness.

I've never been a huge fan of the materialistic side of the holidays. There's so much unnecessary pressure in our society when it comes to giving gifts and living up to Hallmark movie-type expectations. During these times of stress, those who are struggling my struggle even more. I can't imagine being in a position where getting my kids gifts or keeping my family warm was a stress in my life. That is the unfortunate reality for many right here in our area.

Charities all around town do a lot of great work this time of year. I would like to challenge you to take part, if you're able, in their efforts. Here are three of my favorite local charities and their missions, below!

The Women's & Children's Alliance

This group of amazing people does really great work for victims of different types of abuse.

For 40 years, the Women’s & Children’s Alliance (WCA) has been at the forefront of providing services to women, men and their children healing from domestic abuse and sexual assault. Since its founding, the WCA’s crisis program has evolved into one of the most vital, unduplicated, comprehensive programs in our community and region. The WCA is proud to be a community leader in providing these critically needed services. We’ve been an important community partner for  110 years and providing safe places for women to live has always been at the core of our mission.

St. Vincent de Paul 

Between my years at St. Paul's School in Nampa and Bishop Kelly High School in Boise--the work of St. Vincent de Paul food bank and thrift stores has been ever-present in my life. Donations go towards helping those who need holiday food boxes or even their Christmas toy store.

At St. Vincent de Paul: We help people in need by assisting with food, housing expenses, clothing, furniture, and other basic human needs through your generous donations of goods, food, volunteer time, and financial support. Together, we prevent homelessness in Southwest Idaho.

Located in downtown Boise, the Corpus Christi House is a daytime shelter for those year round who have no place to go. I love the team at Corpus Christi. As temperatures drop, having a place like this is more important than ever

The mission of Corpus Christi House is to offer hospitality and services to those in need in the city of Boise.