Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Opinion

December 7, 2013

It's the season to be charitable

Weather forecasters are calling for a high temperature of 25 degrees today in the Goshen area, and a low of 18. The calendar informs us that the official first day of winter isn’t until Dec. 21. For all practical purposes, it’s arrived.

Many of us will feel the chill today, perhaps as we make our way to mailboxes, or head to work or run errands. We’ll likely hurry back indoors, glad to be once again warm.

Not everyone has that option.

IN KEEPING WITH RECENT TRADITION, a group of local young people is planning to bring attention to the plight of the homeless. We’re proud of them, and urge them to bundle up.

Members of the St. John the Evangelist youth group are preparing to spend tonight outdoors near their Goshen church. The youth group will attend a 4:30 p.m. Mass, and then begin building a “cardboard city” out of boxes. This marks the eighth year for the cold-meets-carpentry project at St. John’s.

The St. John’s youths haven’t forsaken their actual homes, of course, and their “homeless” status lasts for all of a night. Still, their public display serves an important purpose.

It’s a reminder that many people in our community are people in need.

The Christmas season is an odd blend of religion and commerce. Consumers throng to retail outlets in search of bargains on merchandise that, frankly, falls short of essential. We do this at a time meant to celebrate the birth of a man who was a friend to the poor.

THERE’S NOTHING WRONG with bargain-hunting. Retailers and their employees, no less than anyone else, need to make a living. The same holds true for the makers of the projects they sell.

That said, too many people in the Goshen area have basic needs that are going unmet. They lack food to eat, warm clothes for their children, a home. They need our help.

This Christmas season, The News encourages you to give to a charitable organization in our community. Even a little bit helps. And we thank the St. John’s youth group for being mindful, as we all should, of our neighbors who have to make do with very little or nothing at all.

Stay warm.

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