Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Editorials

December 24, 2013

Blessings: Let Christmas generosity live on

— — Tonight families will make their final preparations for one of the most joyous days of the year. Children will go to bed and listen for any signs of Santa Claus. Local churches will prepare for special services that remind everyone about the true reason behind the celebration. When the sun rises, it will rise on Christmas Day.

For many people across the region, Christmas will be a day of rest as well as a day of celebration. Hundreds of volunteers have worked for months to help the less fortunate in their communities know the meaning of joy on Christmas.

At the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, the work of many volunteers and the contributions of many generous donors have brought Christmas to hundreds of area children. Santa Claus came to them during the Community Christmas Tree party and listened to local entertainers. Red bags filled with toys, books, gloves, a toboggan and other gifts were distributed to children who may have found nothing under their trees on Christmas morning.

Families in need also found generosity thanks to local units of the Salvation Army. Hundreds of gifts and Christmas food baskets were distributed to people who are trying to cope with difficult economic times. The distributions are another example of the generosity demonstrated by people across the region. The Bluefield Union Mission also helped to brighten Christmas by distributing gifts and food to people in need.

Donors even showed generosity to homeless dogs and cats living in area animal shelters when they contributed to the Prerogative/Bluefield Daily Telegraph Pet Drive. Approximately a ton of pet food was divided between local shelters along with bedding, pet toys and cleaning supplies.

Christmas is a time for remembering how we are blessed and how we can share those blessings with other people. Poverty will not disappear when Christmas Day is over, but the day is a reminder of why generosity is important. Until the economy improves and more jobs become available, families will need help with basic necessities such as food, shelter and utilities.

Poverty will continue when the last presents are unwrapped and the Christmas dinners become leftovers. The unemployed, families depending on small paychecks, and senior citizens on fixed incomes will still need assistance. They will appear at local human service agencies and ask for food assistance or help with paying an electric bill or a water bill.

The generosity inspired by Christmas does not have to vanish when the sun sets on Christmas Day. Helping people in need can be a simple as making small donations of money or food. Giving time by volunteering is another way to ease the burden on people who live from paycheck to paycheck and wonder if the money they make will be enough to pay all the bills.

Tomorrow will be a wonderful day and a time to be with loved ones. Children will enjoy their new toys and families will enjoy Christmas dinner. Everyone will count their blessings and be thankful that complete strangers cared about their well-being and gave generously so they would know happiness on Christmas Day.

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