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Gratitude ... and giving

The Lakeville Journal Co. Editorial

This is the time of year that makes us think about the things and the people in our lives for which we are grateful. We all have our problems, but we all have our blessings as well, and this has been the time to consider the balance between the two. As we spent Thanksgiving with family or friends, as we go into this winter of the triple threat of infections after two years of COVID restrictions, we should be more thankful than ever for the chance to gather for one more year.

This is also the time of year to look outside ourselves and see the challenges faced by our families, friends, neighbors and fellow humans. There are ways in which we can lighten their loads if we give it serious thought. Who knows? In so doing, we may just benefit ourselves as well.

One way to do that is to contribute to some of the many nonprofit organizations in the region, whose annual appeals are now being sent out all over the Tri-state region. Each day brings a new plea from another worthy nonprofit. As the different groups try to gather enough funding to make their way through the next fiscal year, it’s a good time to think about what life here would be like without any one of them.

Which organization will suddenly become the most important in one’s life? Perhaps you’ve never needed a visiting nurse before, but suddenly there is a family health emergency that makes such a personal service critical. How often do any of us think about the willingness of trained volunteer firefighters and EMTs to drop everything at a moment’s notice and rush to help in an emergency? Not often, until the rare time in our lives when their service means everything. When we are at our most vulnerable, most in need of some fast and effective help, it is these volunteers who step in and give of themselves, day in and day out, to offer support to their neighbors.

Then there are the parents who depend on area child care centers to provide them with reliable and loving care for the most important people in their lives, their children. Or those who are struggling with difficult home lives that erupt in violence, or who suffer from any kind of  illness.

We can’t forget about those cultural groups that bring joy and entertainment to brighten our lives, or the scholarship funds for students who need help finishing their studies. The list goes on and on.

Now is a good time to thank volunteers at nonprofit organizations for the work they do to make life better for all of us. The simple acknowledgment of the sacrifices they have made in order to provide their services to the region can be enough to keep them going.

But it also helps to provide financial support, however much it is possible to give. Choose among those who have made a difference in your life or the life of someone you know, and send them whatever you can.

And now that The Lakeville Journal Foundation has joined the multiple nonprofits in the region and become a 501(c)(3), we will note that our appeal went out in this newspaper as of Thanksgiving week. We will emphasize that we are profoundly grateful for all the support we have received over the past three years from you, our readers. Our plan is to be here to serve our communities for years to come, with your continuing support and engagement with our mission.

We are here because of you.

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