The numbers were part a story. It wasn’t a tale about statistics.
It was an account of our friends and neighbors who are heading into the yuletide season with reason not to feel much holiday cheer.
This newspaper feels it was also an invitation to help.
“HOLIDAY WISHES” was the banner headline on Page A3 of The Goshen News’ Thanksgiving edition. It promoted an annual Goshen Salvation Army effort, one The News has supported for many years. That holds true for 2012, too.
Each year, the Salvation Army provides hundreds of local families with food for the holidays and gifts for the children. Families seek help via applications. Salvation Army staffers then try to have families meeting certain financial criteria “adopted” by other local families, service groups or businesses.
Printed in the Nov. 22 Goshen News was a listing of families in need of adoption. It offered thumbnail sketches of what hard times look and feel like the in Goshen area.
FAMILY 90 is a single, unemployed mom raising a young son. She’s barely getting by on child support and food stamps. Family 70 is a single mom with two children. She had surgery and hasn’t been able to work.
Family 74 is a single father having a tough time finding work. Family 84 is a single mother working hard to raise two kids. After she pays her rent and bills, there’s nothing left for Christmas.
That’s a sampling. The list goes on.
The News is quite aware of life’s grim realities. We know a one-time “adoption” won’t solve a family’s financial crisis and put them forever back in the black. We know the holiday food will be quickly gone, and that the children will one day outgrow the holiday gifts.
We also say, “So what?”
A FOOD DONATION is needed now as much at any time of year. And the gifts being sought for the children — A Nerf gun, a Taylor Swift CD, Barbies, “anything Spider-Man,” etc. — are not too extravagant.
Food to eat and a gift for a child to unwrap on Christmas Day may not sound like much. Truth be told, they’re things many of us have taken for granted for years of Christmases, and will do so again.
However, what we count as nearly a birthright may make someone’s holiday just a little bit brighter, or even the Best Christmas Ever. And those of us with just a little extra to spend on non-essentials — Black Friday, anyone? — could do worse than to help a local family with nothing at all to spare.
IN KEEPING WITH holiday tradition, The Goshen News encourages participation in the Salvation Army’s adopt-a-family effort. Recognizing that financial need isn’t holiday-specific, we encourage donations to local food pantries and other charitable organizations any time of year, as well.
This year, we have the opportunity to give someone the perfect gift. So what if we’ve never met?