It's really starting to feel like Christmas. It's not only really cold but there's snow on the ground as I'm writing this and the schools have even had two-hour delays due to weather. It's pretty seeing the snow on the trees and covering bushes, particularly the ones with Christmas lights. I have to admit I'm not so thrilled with snow on the roads but I bet I'd feel different if I got to drive a sleigh like yours.
Christmas sign-ups are over but the work here at The Salvation Army is far from done. We are still getting donations in for toy and food distribution day - donations through Toys For Tots, through Angel Tags, through Fill the Truck with Walmart, through personal donations. I am struck and inspired by our community's generosity.
As I look over the piles of toys I can't help but picture the excited faces of the children as they tear open the wrapping paper. How many hours will each family bond over board games? What will be the depth of enrichment for little imaginations because children learn and grow through play? How much hope and love and joy will ripple out from this Christmas forward?
I recently learned that one of our ringers experienced a Christmas story. She's one of the teachers for the classes The Salvation Army offers and she volunteers regularly to ring at the kettles. It was during her shift when someone familiar looking came up and plunked a couple dollars in. It was when the woman smiled that our volunteer realized she was looking at one of her former students, a young mother who had received Christmas baskets and other help from The Salvation Army.
They chatted for a bit and she learned that this young mother was now able to purchase toys for her children herself and was so proud because it was the first time. She also wanted to give back which made her walk resolutely to the kettle. It was smiles and misty eyes as they talked and what an wonderful example of hope rippling out.
Christmas really is so much the richer with giving!
Please help by giving generously to the Sun-Gazette and the Salvation Army Santa Fund.
You can help make this a brighter holiday season for local families by making a contribution in person to any branch of M&T Bank or by mail to M&T Bank at 405 River Ave.; at the Salvation Army, 457 Market St.; or the Sun-Gazette office, 252 W. Fourth St., Williamsport, PA 17701.