Nutfield Publishing’s three newspapers cover five towns, and often the news in one town has little to do with what is happening in the others.
But all five towns are similar in at least one area – their residents are generous when it comes to helping out the less fortunate.
In the midst of the holiday rush, fulfillment of wishes on Giving and Angel Trees, donations of food and gift cards to provide holiday baskets for
Thanksgiving and Christmas, and even more donations of toys and new and used clothing came in day in and day out.
The generosity involved all ages, ranging from schoolchildren to businesses collecting socks, warm hats, coats, and toys.
Donations don’t get where they need to be without the help of volunteers, and they, too, were in abundance in the holiday season just past. Whether it was carting gifts and food to a central location, matching gifts with the appropriately aged recipient, packing holiday food boxes, or serving at soup kitchens, people were ready to fill the need.
But the holidays are far from the only time for the generous spirit in our towns. Free clothing is offered throughout the year at several local churches. Sports teams and school clubs dedicate time to helping out the less fortunate – and learn something about the world in the process. And in addition to Sonshine Soup Kitchen and the various food pantries, the Community Meals Network hosts free meals for all ages several times each month throughout the year, whether it’s a hearty breakfast or a spaghetti dinner, with volunteers doing everything from donating the food to cooking the meals, serving the guests, and arguably the most important role, taking the time to sit down and chat with people who may not have many other opportunities for socializing.
We regularly announce fundraisers to benefit persons with serious medical conditions. It’s sad, and frightening, that insurance is not available to meet these needs, but our fellow residents continue to step forward and host any number of creative activities to help out.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t also highlight the volunteers who fill seats on town and school district boards and commissions. While some of their decisions may elicit criticism, that’s the nature of a democracy, and it doesn’t detract for an instant from the appreciation they’re due for being willing to leave their homes and take the action needed to keep our communities functioning.
If you’re into the spirit of making a New Year’s resolution, volunteering to help your community is a good one to top the list. And to those who already do so, we offer our appreciation and thanks.