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Our Opinion: Giving does help

December 29, 2001

This Christmas hundreds of people in the Imperial Valley were able to enjoy the holiday when they otherwise might not have been able to do so. While many may have incomes that allow them to spend extra for presents and big holiday meals, there are plenty who do not.

That is where organizations like The Salvation Army, Toys for Tots, the Imperial Valley Food Bank, Prison Fellowship's Angel Tree program, the local chapter of ABATE and others play an important role. These programs raise funds, provide food and make sure children have toys for the holiday season. The generosity of the Imperial Valley community is what allows families in need to enjoy the Christmas season.

Here we have hardworking people and organizations willing to take the steps necessary to help others. In the Valley, where unemployment is so high, there are plenty in need of help who shouldn't have to go through their troubles alone, especially during the holidays.

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We had the opportunity Christmas Eve to see how local generosity makes a difference when we watched as California Highway Patrol officers delivered presents to the Betty Jo McNeece Receiving Home, the county's home for children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected. It was delightful to see the joy in the eyes of these kids as they received presents and experienced a bit of the holiday season. Those kids, who for various reasons are not living with their families, on Thursday were treated to trips to Sea World and Chuck E. Cheese's because of help provided by the community.

We also saw other agencies come forward with presents to help other kids in need. Correctional officers provided gifts to children in hospitals. Prison inmates rebuilt bikes that were given to children without the means to own bikes.

This generosity can make a difference in a young person's life. All who gave of their time and effort to help those in need deserve praise. We are confident their generosity will be remembered by those who were helped. We are confident those children who had a merrier Christmas are grateful, and we hope they will remember that generosity and help others when they are able to do so.

Such generosity has a ripple effect in which the entire community benefits. We hope as the new year starts that the Imperial Valley community will continue to take care of its own. That is how we improve the quality of life in our Valley. That is how we help people survive their financial troubles. That is how we give people hope.

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