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The Holiday Season is here again, however, this year it still will not be our typical Holiday Season because we are still dealing with the effects of the Coronavirus, inflation is still high and we have two very serious wars occurring in the world.  As for COVID over 1,000,000 Americans have died due to the Coronavirus and people still are grieving the deaths of loved ones (CDC).  So we have numerous people who are grieving for spouses, grandparents, siblings, parents, friends and children.  Furthermore, due to inflation which has resulted in a significant increase in the cost of food, many families are having difficulties affording food, rent and their other monthly bills.

As for the two wars, we have millions of people who are grieving the loss of loved ones and millions who do not have safe shelter and are having difficulties daily finding food and water so they can eat and drink.  These people are needing our help too.  Therefore, many people around the world are struggling just for basic food and shelter this Holiday Season.  Many cannot spare the time to think about gifts.

In the United States millions of families cannot afford to pay the rent or buy food too.  Food Banks are reporting a significant increase in the number of people seeking food.  Parents are getting in line at 5 am when the Food Bank opens at 9am.  They are doing this because they are desperate for food so they can feed their children.  Many of these people have well paying jobs prior to the pandemic and they never dreamed that they would be going to food banks or churches looking for food.  However due to the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and Israel and inflation, they are finding it difficult to pay all their monthly bills.

A teacher asked her first grade class to write letters for Christmas. She asked each student to write one thing they want and something they need. One of the children wrote this heartbreaking letter asking for food and shoes.  However, she was not the only one.  Many children were asking for food, clothes and a place to live.

This video details the need that many families are facing and how many children are focusing on food and clothes for Christmas not gifts.  The following video describes what some United States families have been facing

This video is the tip of the iceberg.  Currently in the United States one out of five children are going to bed without food and are homeless (CDC).  This is the United States, how are we allowing this to occur?  While families are having to beg for food and a place to live, the Republicans in the House of Representatives are discussing cutting and eliminating programs that some families depend on for food and shelter. and.  Many have asked Congress to stop the lying and misinformation and to focus on the desperate needs of many US families, but they appear to ignore the pleas.

Many people assume that hunger is not a problem in the United States. However the current statistics of one in five children living below the poverty level and not having enough to eat and many living on the streets tells us that we have a severe problem in the United States.  It’s not because they have drug addicted parents either.  Many of their parents work 2 or 3 jobs, but they still cannot afford the prices for food and gas due to inflation.  I have children who tell me they are happy to be going back to school because public schools now provide free breakfast and lunch.  Therefore, by going to school they get to eat and not have to starve.

I do see children in this situation for psychotherapy. These children are often depressed and see no hope for the future. They feel that they will be homeless for their entire life.  In therapy I am trying to help them to not give up.  The suicide rate has increased due to the Coronavirus pandemic and if a child sees no hope for their future they do think about suicide.  Many children I see I need to see pro bono or for a very low fee because their families do not have insurance or their parents cannot afford the copayments the insurance companies require.

The other sad fact is that the United States government continues not to act.  Additionally, the few programs that are helping these families will expire soon.  However, the Republicans refuse to cooperate with President Biden who is proposing programs to help these families and to give them their dignity back.  Many of these programs are their only source of food and shelter for children. The children are the future of our country. Why would the United States, considered the richest country in the world, cut programs that will decrease the number of children living in poverty? Should a child in the United States, need to be asking Santa Claus for food and a blanket?  Where are our priorities?

Since the Congress is not listening, you and your family may want to make a donation to a food bank or buy less gifts and donate to a toy drive.  We can also be teaching your children a very important lesson. The Holidays and life are not just about getting, they are also about giving and helping other people out when someone is experiencing a crisis.  You never know when you might need someone to help you. 

Dr. Michael Rubino has 25 years experience as a psychotherapist working with children, teenagers, trauma victims including first responders . For more information about his work with children visit his website at or his Facebook page at or his podcasts on Spotify or Apple or Audible.