As we get ready to head into another rainy weekend, it’s always good to be aware that with drastic weather changes, the likely hood of weather related home disasters increases too. In fact, home flooding, particularly in the basement, soon becomes a real possibility. One of the main causes of basement flooding, is from a sump pump failure. These basement disasters can happen from something as simple as the power going out, to the extremes of heavy rainfall and outside flooding, to the age and deterioration of your sump pump, to something as drastic as frozen or clogged pipes, or the lack of routine maintenance, or a faulty installation.
The way a sump pump works is pretty basic. Your basement has a drain system around the perimeter of the outside wall that feeds into the sump pump. In the corner of your basement, there is a hole dug and a sump pump is placed in order to capture and pump out that water. The pit can fill up from rain, for example, and the pump will switch on and pump the water into various pipes that feed out away from your home’s foundation. It is a very simple mechanism.
The key to avoid failure all comes down to maintenance. Some of these problems can just occur, and are hard to avoid, but the odds are in your favor if it is something you regularly keep an eye on. It is always a good idea to do regular checks on the pump. The best way is to simply lift the float up and the pump should come on. If not, then you will need to find out why it is not working. Here are some other tips:
Try to check the pump for particles and debris by properly cleaning it
There is a float switch on the sump pump, make sure it is not restricted
Clean all the vents and spaces to allow it to function at its best
Have a battery backup in case of a power outage to ensure your sump pump can still run
Again, sump pumps sometimes fail, so always be prepared! In order to have a good chance of it NOT failing, be sure to make regular maintenance a part of your routine, and don’t hesitate to call a licensed professional to determine if you are having a serious issue. Remember, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, Duraclean is ALWAYS ready to get the job done! Call ANY time 410-838-7330. #NoOneIsFasterToTheDisaster #WaterFireMold #RestorationSpecialists
When it comes to mold in your home, we expect there to be many questions. How does it get there? How do I get rid of it? What can I do to prevent mold? Is it dangerous?
Mold can be beneficial in terms of medicine and some foods, but undetected in your walls, mold is not a friendly foe. Many times, mold comes from a variety of reasons, and we can help you understand how to keep it away from destroying your home. The biggest thing to understand is that mold can grow in places you cannot visibly see, like the backside of drywall, areas inside the walls around moist pipes, or above ceiling tiles.
Search for Possible Areas:
Look throughout your home and look for areas moisture or leaks could possibly occur. Is the basement flooding? Is there constant condensation in the kitchen window?
If it’s Wet, Dry it Now!
Without moisture, mold has no chance. When there are wet areas, take care of it immediately. When a basement floods after a heavy rainfall, the carpet should be dried within 24-48 hours; the sooner the better to prevent mold.
Ventilation is Key:
Giving your home breathing room can prevent the air from becoming humid. Check AC units and make sure they don’t produce moisture by checking them from time to time and cleaning them regularly. Open a window when washing dishes, or use the exhaust fan.
Direct Water Away:
The ground around your property may need to be grading away from your home. This simple fix can prevent water from seeping into your house undetected.
Clean Those Gutters:
When gutters are full or damaged, the water from rainfall is not being passed, but instead it is sitting in places above your house. Repair them if needed, and keep an eye out for water stains.
Remember, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, Duraclean Services is ALWAYS ready to get the job done! Call us at ANY time to speak to one of our experienced experts to walk you through the Mold Remediation and Restoration Process from beginning to end… for more information on mold remediation and prevention, please visit our mold removal page or contact us.
If you spend your Tuesday nights like most American’s, chances are you curl up in front of the television watching a very popular series centered around a lovable, yet oh so complicated family. If you’ve tuned in over the past few weeks, you have probably gone through at least a box or two of tissues AND have decided to forgo any crockpot recipes for a while (not forever mind you, but definitely for a while!) . . . After last night’s episode, there is absolutely no way that Fire Safety has not crossed some of our minds over the past 24 hours . . .Yes, I know a few months back, we did a blog about Fire Safety, and even visited the local Fire Department, but truth is, it’s a REALLY important topic, so it’s worth talking about one more time.
So welcome to Fire Safety, (aka the “This Is Us” edition). . . when the snow is falling, the winds are blowing, and the thermometer is far below our preferred comfort zone , that means that Winter has come , and is most likely going to stay for a while! With the change of seasons, comes an important reminder to be aware of fire safety rules, to remember those year round tips, as well as spending a few moments focusing on extra precautions that should be taken during the winter months ahead . . . so here we go:
Who doesn’t love to sit around a beautiful fire place or rustic wood stove, curled up under your favorite blanket all warm and cozy, while reading a good book or sipping on a fresh cup of coffee? Even though doing so may feel incredibly relaxing, it is SO important that before ANY fire happens, to be sure to have had your chimney professionally cleaned and serviced. Also, make sure to keep a screen in front of the fire place. Although often very pretty, don’t be fooled, this piece is far more than a decoration. It will protect your flooring from “runaway” embers that can start trouble (remember, it only takes a spark to get a fire going ) protecting not only from a possible fire, but from any damage that could occur to your carpet or flooring surface.
Of course, NEVER use flammable liquids to start a fire, or even to keep one going, and move ANY flammable objects at least 3 feet or more away from the fire source. Once you are done enjoying the fire, be sure to take plenty of time to let the ashes cool down before closing the damper. Remember, a closed damper CAN reignite a flame, which will force carbon monoxide into your home . . . causing a potentially deadly threat to you and your family! Also, never place ashes (even cooled ashes in a cardboard or wooden box) a metal container with a lid is the way to go just in case the ashes aren’t quite as cool as you thought they were!
If you are using gas, verses wood burning appliances, thoroughly check your furnace out before you turn it on. Be sure to place your hands on the walls around it to make sure that no heat is coming through and check for cracks or holes in the furnace or adjacent pipes as well. As as always, keep all flammable and combustible objects far far away from the furnace, a 3-ft “safe zone” is usually your safest bet.
Have that one room that is always “extra” cold no matter how high you turn up the heat? Space heaters are a great heating source and can make a huge difference in your comfort level without adding to a huge electrical bill. However, just like everything else, you must be wise in how you use them. One heater per outlet is the max. NEVER plug them into an extension cord (they don’t have the safety of a circuit breaker that will “trip” when overloaded!). Be sure to keep heaters clear of ALL flammable objects, and debris, and of course, remember that electric heaters shouldn’t be near water, so bathrooms and kitchens are NOT the best choice for them. If you do decide to use them in those rooms, be extra careful that they do not get wet, and NEVER ever leave them unattended.
While we are using the NEVER word, NEVER ever go to bed with a crock pot or oven on, with a dryer running, pre-strung lights (such as Christmas lights) or a lithium battery plugged in ( yes, I know you need to charge your phones and computers friends, but try to get into the habit of charging them while you are awake) Once they are fully charged, unplug them from the wall outlet and sleep with a bit more peace. Remember, a habit can be established within 2 months, and a 2 month investment is definitely worth the safety of your family.
Be sure to have a smoke alarm in EVERY bedroom AND on EVERY floor of your home, and be sure to change the batteries regularly (at least once a year) and remember, smoke alarms need to be fully replaced every 10 years (even if you think they are in good shape, trust me, they aren’t!)
Make sure that EACH floor has it’s own fire extinguisher (if you are a little on the paranoid side like I am, especially after last night’s episode, it probably wouldn’t be such a bad idea to have one in every bedroom either!) . . . and please be sure that EVERYONE knows HOW TO USE THEM (during a fire is not the time to try to read the directions!)
Know your house inside and out, think ahead and find 2 ways out of each and every room (doors and windows), and practice family fire drills often. Remember to have a meeting place nearby (usually in the front of your home) so family members will quickly know who has made it out of a fire and who is still inside.
This Safety Rule is pretty important friends, in fact, I would probably call it the “Jack Rule!” . . . NEVER EVER EVER go back into a burning house once you have made it out safely, let the Fire Department take care of going back in to rescue or bring things out . . . they have the training, the experience and most of all the protective gear to be the person to get the job done! bottom line, GET OUT AND STAY OUT!!!
Go over these fire safety rules with your family often. Don’t make them a conversation that you just check off your list every Winter, but truly make them a way of life for your household . . . Enjoy the Winter months, stay warm, have fun, make memories . . . and most of do your best to STAY SAFE . . . AND be sure to buy a new box of tissues before Tuesday night!
Tuesday, January 9th was Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. A day set aside to take a moment to thank the men and women in Blue who serve and protect our local communities each and every day. From issuing tickets and writing citations, to spearheading anti-drug programs and visiting schools, to recovering stolen merchandise and apprehending criminals, to participating in local parades, and taking children on shopping trips at Christmas time . . . somehow, these officers seem to be able to “do it all”, and still be prepared to handle unexpected emergencies and impending disasters, all at a moment’s notice.
First established in 1874, the Bel air Police Department has faithfully served Harford County 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for over 144 years. Just like other Departments in our area (Fire and Ambulance) our local Police Department is invaluable to our community. Headed up by Captain Charles (aka Chuck) Moore, the Department strives to meet the daily needs of the community through proactive involvement and compassionate service, doing all that they can to keep our streets safe, our homes peaceful, and our community at ease for all who call this wonderful town, home.
So if you are out and about this week and see our Men and Women in Blue, maybe, you might want to say “thank you” for all that they do for our community. Perhaps a note, a shout out on social media, or even sending a lunch or dessert from a local restaurant to the precinct. Although I am sure they would tell you that they don’t do it for the thanks . . . we all know that everyone likes to be appreciated every now and then . . . so take a moment to let them know that you care!
On behalf of Duraclean Services, we would like to personally thank the Bel air Police Department for the service and care that they give to our town each and every day. We enjoyed bringing you lunch, visiting your precinct, and meeting your Captain and a few of the amazing men and women in Blue who call Bel air home. May you be safe, may you be wise, and may you continue to invest in, serve, and protect this wonderful town that we all call home.
Duraclean Services LLC
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to meet ALL of your Restoration needs! Call 410-838-7330.
If you are a fan of HGTV, Public Television, or a myriad of other stations featuring Home Improvement shows, you have seen first hand that hard work, determination, and many long hours can take a house of little to no value and restore it into something of absolute beauty. Over the past 10 years, “flipping” houses has become all the rage. From coast to coast, houses that no one seems to want, are purchased, and poured into to create transformations as dramatic as the story of Cinderella! The thing is, to go from before to after requires experience and knowledge of the inner and exterior workings of a home. More often than not, these homes have flaws, sometimes many flaws, that need to be addressed, corrected, and completely renovated . . . that is where Duraclean Services comes in!
Homes that have been left to sit for an extensive amount of time usually have damage. Water damage from broken pipes, ill working sump pumps, or roof leaks left to fester, create challenges that MUST be addressed before all of the cosmetic changes can take place. Sometimes smoke damage plays a factor in house flipping (maybe that’s why you got such a great deal on it), there are even times that mold has begun to run rapid through the walls and ceilings of a dwelling, and there is absolutely no option other than to completely fix the situation.
Duraclean Service has the experience (28 years and counting), knowledgeable employees, the most up to date equipment, and the newest techniques to get the job done. From small jobs, to HUGE jobs, our team is always prepared to meet ALL of your Restoration needs. From Mitigation, to Remediation, to Reconstruction, we will walk with you from beginning of your flip, right to the very end (if you need us that long) to see your Restoration to completion. From installing dry wall, windows and doors . . . to choosing paint colors and renovating kitchens and bathrooms. . . to installing the latest floorings and carpets from our lovely Showroom . . . Duraclean is One Stop Shopping for both the novice and experienced Home Flipper.
So as housing prices continue to rise, and the demand for updated homes in nice neighborhoods hits an all time high, Duraclean Services will still be here just like it has been for the past 28 years, offering high quality craftsmanship, economical pricing, and years of knowledge and experience to get the job done! So whether renovating a Flip, or getting a call about a recent disaster, Duraclean’s commitment to our customers and to our community will never waiver.
If you are a private homeowner, a realtor, or just someone considering possibly “flipping” a home in the future, give Duraclean a call today 410-838-7330. One of our experienced Sales Representatives or General Contractors will be happy to talk with you and start you on your Restoration journey.
Remember, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, Duraclean is ALWAYS ready to get the job done!
In a perfect world, disasters would only strike between the hours of 9am -5pm, leaving plenty of time for hanging out with the family, visiting with friends, and catching up on sleep…however, we do NOT live in a perfect world, in fact, most would venture to say that the probability of a disaster striking your home after 5pm is more likely than not! That is why it is so important to be prepared at ALL times. Having a plan and knowing what to do and who to call at a moment’s notice enables you to have peace of mind, even in the toughest situations. Even though you can’t control what disasters come your way, you can control how you handle them. Just as you should have a plan in case of a fire or robbery, you should also have a plan for a home disaster. Major storms, burst pipes, broken sump pumps, flooded basements, water logged carpet, and soggy drywall are just a few of the things that can go wrong for a homeowner. Add in the severe complications from fire and smoke disasters, or the dangers of untreated mold and you have urgent situations that call for fast action, so you better choose the right Restoration Company. Instead of trying to gather your thoughts and make important decisions in the middle of a “surprise” disaster, why not plan ahead, read reviews, gather information, and decide what company you will use before a disaster happens, not during one. In doing this, you will save crucial time, avoid a lot of frustration, and be sure to get your restoration clean up started and done as quickly as possible.
Although there are other Restoration Services available in our area, the thing about Duraclean is that we work with ALL major Insurance Companies, journeying with you from the time you first call, until your home is fully restored, walking with you each and every step of the way. From beginning to end, starting the job immediately, from the moment we speak, until the job is complete. Through clean up, mitigation, remediation, and reconstruction, Duraclean offers top of the line service, excellent workmanship, affordable prices and a friendly disposition to reassure you that everything is going to be alright! Full Restoration, putting the customer first, hiring the most experienced employees and offering the latest techniques and services to complete your Restoration in a safe & timely fashion . . that’s what Duraclean is all about!
So take the time to look around, be informed, and feel free to give us a call (even before disaster strikes) ask questions and have a plan. Always be prepared for what tomorrow may hold, but make sure to take the time to enjoy today. Remember, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, Duraclean has been servicing the Harford, Baltimore, and Cecil County areas of Maryland for the past 28 years and counting. Our reputation, service record, and integrity speak for themselves. So have that plan in place and enjoy the sweet peace that comes from laying your head down at night knowing that no matter what disaster strikes, Duraclean is ALWAYS ready to go at a moments notice to meet ALL of your Restoration needs, because . . . No One is Faster to the Disaster!
Ice Damming, there is a strong possibility that you may have never heard of the term before ( you’re not alone, I didn’t know what it was until I began working for a Restoration Company), but chances are that you have definitely seen Ice Damming with your own eyes! Those beautiful long icicles that hang off of the eaves of houses in the winter time, ( you know what I am talking about) the ones that glisten and catch the sunlight, making houses seem as though they should be featured on the front of a Christmas card. Those aren’t “just” Icicles, they are really Ice Dams!
Basically, an Ice Dam is caused when a ridge of ice forms at the end of the roof (aka an icicle) and causes a “dam.” (nothing can penetrate it) This dam prevents melting snow (aka water) from draining off of the roof properly. Once an Ice Dam attaches itself to a home, major problems usually aren’t too far away! As heat and warm air leak from the living space below (inside the house) the snow on the roof begins to melt, and water begins to trickle down, until it finds it’s way to the coolest edge of the roof line (right above the eaves) where it then refreezes into long, strong pieces of ice. . . lots and lots of ice! Once this ice has hardened itself into a Dam, it becomes virtually impossible for any melting snow to get around it, so it looks for other places to seep into. . .walls, ceilings, and insulation are usually the first places to be hit, but Ice Dams can also warp floors, and damage other areas that require the immediate help of a Professional (aka Duraclean Services).
Although Ice Damming is pretty common especially in ice cold winter months, there are a few things that you can do to help prevent them:
. Pulling off snow with a long handled rake (aluminum with wheels) is a great start. While you are standing safely on the ground, you are able to manipulate the rake on top of the roof without damaging roof top shingles or yourself.
. Calcium Chloride is a great ice melter. When put into a pair of old pantyhose and laid across the top of the Ice Dam and gutter, it will eventually melt the Dam, creating a channel or passage for the water to flow down (Guys, this is important, make sure that you ASK your wife before using her pantyhose, or an icy roof will be the least of your worries!)
.If you can, make sure the roof temperature is the same in every area, that way, Ice Dams cannot form. The key to doing this is good insulation and proper ventilation.
. Be sure you have enough Insulation, if you don’t, add some more. By adding it to the attic floor you will keep things warm, and when it’s nice and warm, ice cannot form.
. Make sure that all ducts (kitchen, bathroom, and dryer) are directed through the roof or walls and are sealed and insulated properly.
. Be sure that there are no gaps around your chimney, if there are, be sure to fill them in with a fire-stop sealant.
. Be aware, keep a watchful eye, and don’t hesitate to call a Professional (Duraclean Services) at a moments notice.
Remember, Duraclean is ready to go 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to meet ALL of your Restoration needs. Call ANY time 410-838-7330.
It’s that time of the year again, Christmas music is playing, cookies are baking, and it’s nearly impossible to find a parking spot at the mall any time of the day or night! Stockings have been hung with care, letters to Santa have been sent, and all of the Christmas decor has finally made it’s way down from the attic, to the living room floor to be divided and dispersed throughout the entire house; both inside and out . . . After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year!
At the center of hustle and bustle of the season, you will usually find a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. Some are short, some are tall, some are plump and some are narrow, some are “themed” trees, and some are filled with old family memories . . . but none the less, most homes have at least one (or more) up during this special time of year. Putting up trees can be exasperating, in fact, we usually set aside an entire day to get the job done! From going to the farm to cut one down and strapping it to the top of the car, to pulling it out of a box and assembling all of the pieces, putting up a tree definitely requires a bit of “elbow” grease and a whole lot of patience. Should you go with colored lights for the kids, or clear lights to please mama? Should you use homemade garlands or store bought ribbon? How about new ornaments verses old ones that have a special memory behind them?
There is definitely no “right way” to put up a Christmas tree, but there is a “right way” to take care of one. Every year, 250 or more home fires are started by a Christmas tree, causing an average of 16 deaths and 13.1 million dollars worth of property damage . . . these fires are a very serious matter, but don’t lose heart, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure a safe and happy holiday season.
Selecting the “perfect” tree for your family – If having a real tree adds to your Christmas experience, be sure to pick a tree that is slightly sticky to the touch. If the needles are already falling off, it has been cut too long and will be more of a fire hazard. Remember, fresh is best!
Caring for your tree- This is an important one friends! Although they are lovely to look at, a fresh tree should never be up for more than 2 weeks, and the tree stand should always be filled with water. It is also very important not to place your tree near a heat source, that means that fire places and heating vents are not the right spot to display your holiday splendor.
Lights – Let’s face it, lights are a HUGE part of the holiday experience, but they are also one of the most dangerous parts. Broken plugs, kinked or frayed wires are an accident waiting to happen. Be sure to check your lights every season and make the investment of new lights every 5 years (or sooner if needed) to ensure safe lighting for your tree. Always remember, you should never link more than 3 strands of lights together (unless otherwise specified) and that lights should never ever be warm to the touch! Even if you are tempted, be sure to turn off your tree lights when leaving your home, Santa won’t mind, we promise!
Holiday Candles – They are pretty, they smell amazing, and their soft lighting gives a warm and inviting glow to a room, but candles can be very DANGEROUS if not used properly! Be sure to use stable candle holders, be careful not to have any flammable materials close by, and above all, if there aren’t going to be people in the room. . . .BLOW IT OUT!
Test your smoke alarms- Although we encourage you to do this several times a year, this is one of the most important times . . . be sure that your alarm is stocked with new batteries, tested and ready to go!
Have an Escape Plan – It is so important for the entire family to know how to get out of a burning house and where to meet afterward so there is no confusion to who is out safely,and who may still be inside. Remember, you ALWAYS want to get away from the fire as quickly as possible!
Now that we have reminded you of all of the things that can go wrong, be sure to focus on all of the things that are going right during this Christmas season. Spend extra time with your family and friends, make sweet memories, give to those less fortunate, and spread kindness wherever you go. Remember in the event of a fire, (or any other disaster) that Duraclean Services is ALWAYS ready, 24 hours a day 7 days a week to get the job done! We are able to service ALL of your Restoration needs . . . No One is Faster to the Disaster! Call anytime 410-838-7330.
Well, it’s finally here! Just a few more days, and we will gather around dining room tables across America to give thanks for all we’ve been blessed with in the 2017 year. We will dine on delicious food made from family recipes handed down from one generation to the next, we will play games, catch up on conversation, do our best to carry on with old traditions and even incorporate some new ones. We will probably eat too much, shed a tear or two while reminiscing over past memories, and laugh til we cry as Uncle Roger tells the same joke for the hundredth time, but most of all we will enjoy spending an extra special day together with those who mean the most to us.
Although some of us live in the same town where we will share a Thanksgiving meal with family and friends, there are many of us (51 million according to AAA) who will be traveling during this Thanksgiving season. One million are expected to hit the road from Maryland alone! If you are one of those families getting ready to travel hundreds of miles to spend time with those you hold dear, here is a quick check list to make things easier for you before you leave.
DID YOU . . .
1. Turn off the water!
If a pipe should burst while you are gone, you will come home to quite a mess! Basements, appliances, carpets and furniture can all be ruined in a matter minutes, so shut off the main water valve, flush your toilets and turn on your faucets to drain the pipes. Also, be sure to turn down the temperature on your water heater, no sense paying if there’s no one around to use it!
Should a problem arise, remember, “No One is Faster to the Disaster” -the Duraclean Motto
2. Turn down your thermostat!
55 degrees is the perfect setting (as long as no people or pets are in the house) things won’t freeze, and it will give your furnace and energy bill a break too!
3.Unplug your electronics!
Well, everything except for a light or two on a timer to keep burglars away. Other than that, unplug it all; televisions, washer & dryers, extra lamps, toasters, and any other small kitchen appliances you have. Doing this will help lower your electrical usage, and also help to prevent fires while you are away. Remember, a penny saved, is a penny earned!
4. Let a neighbor (that you trust) know that you are headed out of town!
Leave them a phone number to contact you in the event they see something “suspicious” or out of the ordinary. If you really (really) trust them, leave them a spare key in case you need someone to check on something while you’re away.
5. Be sure to lock all doors and windows!
Burglars can still break into your home, but by all means, don’t make it easy for them!
Nobody, I mean nobody wants to ride in a car (or on an airplane) with too much “stuff”. Take what you need, and maybe a little bit extra, but do your best to keep it light. You and everyone you are traveling with will be happy you did.
7. Leave early!
Whether heading to the airport, or settling in for a 20 hour ride, early is the way to go. You hit less traffic, and use as much of your daylight as possible.
8. Make sure your cell phone is charged!
No matter what you think, you ARE going to be using that phone. Whether being used for emergencies, for pleasure, or as a GPS to get to your final destination, phones are a giant necessity on a long road trip. So make sure it’s charged, and be sure to pack both a car and wall charger, you will be glad you did.
9. Pack snacks!
No one wants to feel “Hangry” or be stuck in a car with someone who is . . . do your travel companions a favor and pick a different week to diet!(hint, December is not a great time to diet either!)
10. Have plenty of cash with you, as well as an extra credit card or two!
Hopefully, your trip will go smoothly, but just in case it doesn’t, it’s always good to be prepared; hotels, rental cars, extra food, or even a surprise hospital visit are never free, so be sure to have plenty “just in case” $$$ with you.
11. Be comfortable!
Comfy clothes, extra blankets and a fluffy pillow or two always make for a much more enjoyable trip. Even though you are about to embark on a long weekend of looking your very best, it’s definitely ok to “go casual” while you travel.
12. Have fun!
Last, but certainly not least, have tons of fun. Whether you are off to the Bahamas for a secluded vacation or headed to see all of your extended family in North Carolina at Granny’s, be intentional to have meaningful conversations, and to make wonderful memories during this Thanksgiving season. Play touch football, watch parades, eat more, (this is the one time of year where it’s allowed and even encouraged!) laugh hard, and take it all in. Enjoy the season, and the beauty and wonder of it all . . . Don’t miss a single moment!
“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you!”-Princess Diana
What a timely quote as we enter into mid-November, the kick off to the Holiday Season. Aisles of Turkeys and Fall colored decor are slowly moving over to make room for Christmas trees, twinkling lights, and a myriad of shiny ornaments. The weather has finally caught up to the change of seasons, and as our days seem to be getting cooler and cooler, our evenings are becoming darker and darker. Soon, calendars will be filled with festive events to spend extra time with those we love. our homes will be looking their very best for upcoming visits from the in-laws and out of town guests, and our kitchens will be stocked to the brim and overflowing with more food than we could ever possibly eat in a single meal, let alone in an entire week! Parties will be thrown, holiday movies will be watched, and “hunting season” will officially begin . . . ( aka the season that mothers and fathers begin “hunting” from store to store to find the gifts that their children have asked Santa for on their Christmas lists!)
Amidst the beauty and wonder of the holiday season, November is the perfect time to look around and remind ourselves just how fortunate we are. With roofs over our heads, plenty of food on our tables, and the ability to buy gifts for family and friends available to us, we must remember to think about those around us who are less fortunate.
Right here in this County, the place that we all call home, there are many people in need of a helping hand and strong support system to guide them through the Holiday Season. Organizations such as Harford Family House, Hope in Action, Welcome One Emergency Shelter, and the Salvation Army are just a few of the wonderful Non-Profits in Maryland making a difference for those struggling. It is our hope that all who live in Harford County will take a moment to figure out the best way to help these organizations, especially during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season. Whether through the giving of time, financial support, or dropping off new toys, warm coats, or food for a holiday dinner, every little bit makes a difference for someone in your area!
So, as you are making a trip to the grocery store, pick up a few extra cans of staples for a holiday dinner, when you head to the mall, look for a buy one get one free sign for hats and gloves, and when you are standing in line at the toy store to buy that special toy that will make your little one smile with delight, perhaps buy 2 . . . and maybe, just maybe, you and your family would enjoy spending your Thanksgiving serving at one of our local shelters; taking the time to get aquainted with some of the people staying there, serving them dinner, playing games, and making them feel valued during this special time of year. Remember, every dollar given, every item purchased, each donation contributed, and every act of kindness shown will go a long way to making the holidays a little brighter and a whole lot nicer for someone in need. Truth be told, its a win/win situation, for kindness is never wasted, it ALWAYS make a difference, blessing both the giver and the receiver.
Wishing you and your family a very wonderful Thanksgiving Season . . . may your home be peaceful, your table be full, and your heart be content during this very special time of year.