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Eagle editorial: Reach out this season

  • Published Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, at 12 a.m.

Like need, generosity knows no season. But December in south-central Kansas stands out for its wealth of opportunities to help others. The coming days also are full of seasonal activities whose proceeds help fuel local nonprofit organizations year-round.

Giving is habit-forming – a fact confirmed by the testimonials in a Sunday Eagle article looking at why people donate their time and treasure. Some of those quoted had been inspired to be generous by their own limited means of the past. Some were touched by observing others in obvious need, impulsively reaching out to help. Some regularly go great distances to serve others in the aftermath of natural disasters.

Their stories revealed not only a common urge to give but also a shared wonder at what they get in return.

“It’s just a good feeling,” said Wichitan Jim Franklin, who gives to the Lord’s Diner and his church.

Anyone looking to get that feeling can consult The Eagle’s Holiday Wish List, which was in the Sunday Eagle and appears at Kansas.com. Its array of needs at nonprofit social service organizations in Sedgwick, Butler and Harvey counties gets as basic as underwear and blankets and as specific as a standing popcorn popper (Senior Services of Wichita) and a van to accommodate a wheelchair lift conversion (Rainbows United). Cash is always welcome – and sure to be stretched to achieve maximum results.

Meanwhile, the area seasonal efforts are seeking donations and volunteers. Operation Holiday, Catholic Charities, Episcopal Social Services, and the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree and other programs can attest to the growing need, and will be counting on the community in the next few weeks to help them meet it.

The Eagle again is publishing daily stories of people who’ve applied for one-time help through the Share the Season program, co-sponsored with the Wichita Community Foundation and Salvation Army. The applicants’ stories reflect these hard times, describing unexpected medical bills and shut-off utilities.

Another way to give back is to get out and support the area attractions, theaters, colleges and other institutions offering seasonal events and performances, in many cases as sustaining fundraisers. This weekend alone will see Goodwill Industries’ Festival of Trees at Century II, the Wichita Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis, and Christmas concerts at Friends and Newman universities, with much more ahead and some theater productions and lighting displays – such as Botanica’s Illuminations, the Arc’s Lights on St. Paul and Heartspring’s Lights on the Lake – ongoing. (Check out the GO! listings, in Friday’s Eagle and at Kansas.com.)

As those who reach out to others in charity, good will and celebration of the season in the coming days get that “good feeling,” they will be building a stronger community.

For the editorial board, Rhonda Holman

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