"Season of Giving"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, December 24, 2010

Ah! It’s finally time to relax. Hopefully all the packages are wrapped, food for the big Christmas dinner is ready to prepare and all plans are in place for a great holiday.

If you, like many of us, are able to celebrate this time of year, please remember there are many who are not so fortunate. People who are out of work and have been for some time and can not keep up with everyday expenses. There are those who have lost their homes or cars, and perhaps have no place to live.

We often do not realize how hard times have affected many of our neighbors. Most of them are quiet about it; we never know how tough things are for them. Some are actually going hungry — national statistics put it at 1 of every 6 people in our country.

If you do learn about a friend or neighbor who is in need maybe you could share your Christmas meal by inviting them over or you could deliver a plate or two to them. Many proud people will appreciate your kindness and you’ll be surprised how good you will feel.

I recall many years back when we had a Goodfellows group in Port Austin. We sold papers on the corner during the tourist season to raise funds then checked with the schools and churches for a list of families in need. When we learned how many baskets were needed, if our funds didn’t cover the cost some of us would chip in to reach the amount.

All the businessmen in our area were Goodfellows so toys were donated and grocery items discounted below cost. Bad Axe merchants often sent coats or boots for the baskets at deep discounts. My partner, Tony Fisher, and I always teamed up to make deliveries. We had one special, needy woman named Mary we always called on. She would stand in her doorway and sing out, “Here comes Santa Claus,” as we made our delivery. When we left, she rewarded each of us with a peppermint candy and a big smile. We struggled to keep dry eyes, and I can only say it was one of the most rewarding experiences I ever participated in. If you have nothing material you can share — As I see it, a Christmas greeting with a smile can be a great award.

After opening gifts this year and taking inventory, you may find you have extra clothes items or perhaps to put the new in, the old needs to go. Some kids have extra toys, or ones they have tired of — a doll, ball and bat or outdated electronic game. Look around, I’m sure you’ll find someone nearby who would appreciate the items you no longer need. If you want to help anonymously, drop the items off at Thumb Industries.

Maybe this holiday you could just check up on an old friend or neighbor you have not heard from in a while. Give them a call and wish them a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday or whatever your favorite greeting may be. Just spread a little good cheer with others — it will make you feel good. I know this because it always works for me!

Having the opportunity to wish all of you, my readers a Very Merry Christmas and Joyous Holiday season ON CHRISTMAS EVE sure is great!


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