Merry Christmas, Bee readers!
We know that these aren't the best economic times, with far too many of us still out of work or otherwise suffering financially.
The news that commands our attention too often is negative whether it's a shooting or a fire, or even mundane topics such as electric rates or city council appointments.
Those stories and conversations certainly are important ones, but not today. Let's rest our tired brains and take a closer look at what makes our community such a special place.
We don't think that's much of a secret. The incredible charitable spirit found here a generosity that leaves many communities of our size envious has been on full display throughout the holiday season. Whether it's through monetary donations or gifts of time and talent or all of the above, we are fortunate to live in a "giving community" a fact that becomes even more special when so many of our own pocketbooks are ailing.
This is the kind of good news that we love to share:
It was a stellar year for "A Book of Dreams," The Bee's annual holiday campaign to help those in need. We exceeded the goal of $58,000, which means the 15 agencies that participate in the program will have more funds at their disposal to do their important work of helping the poor and needy throughout our region. We want to send a heartfelt thank-you to all who contributed to this year's success.
The Salvation Army continues to do its incredible work, and you've helped by placing coins and bills into red buckets. That money goes straight to work to help feed and clothe those who are in need. The Salvation Army provides its assistance year-round, and the holiday kettle campaign is its largest generator of funding.
The Bee has made an effort to highlight the good in our community through dozens of features each year. Through front-page stories, features, our Saturday Shorts editorials and columns by Jeff Jardine, we've tried to spotlight what's right and how we can make our community even better.
As adults know, it's better to give than receive and we all have reason to feel good today. But the need doesn't diminish after the last gift has been opened. Staff members of nonprofits and others who help the poor will tell you that the need, sadly, is endless.
So let's resolve to keep the giving spirit going into the new year. We can't think of a better Christmas present for this community.