I have heard many people say that Thanksgiving is the true start of their holiday season.

This is when many of us can begin to look forward to spending time with our loved ones and sharing wonderful meals together.

Around the corner are more get-togethers and family reunions. There are many things to be thankful for and much to celebrate.

But for a lot of Mainers of all ages, these holiday times are not so cheerful. As the colder days and nights become more frequent, some of our most at-risk neighbors will find themselves with fewer resources.

There are many accounts of older Mainers who become more and more isolated during the winter months. But this is a great time to reach out and see how we can help.

If we start to look beyond our own holiday activities, we might be able to offer someone we know a little support and a little contact. One cannot understate the value of spending time with someone who is lonely.

This is also a great time to remember to donate to local food pantries, either with monetary or with food contributions.

We are lucky to have dedicated organizations and community partners who work tirelessly to help keep food on the table for those who need it the most.

We can all make a difference in that effort by continuing to remember those in need in the weeks and months to come.

Dr. Erica Magnus of Windham is an AARP outreach volunteer.