Ours is a giving community

Published 1:54 am Saturday, December 24, 2011

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by Christmas, or bah humbug’ish about gifting, here are some stories to touch your heart and remind you that compassion still exists in this wonderful community we call home.

On Friday, The Star-News published its annual Letters to Santa section. There were hundreds of letters from area children written to Santa Claus. Some were predictable, others were funny, and a few were very touching.

Take the letter of the 11-year-old child who wrote that she tries to stay out of her granny’s hair. In her letter, she said her granny, a cancer patient, needed help cleaning her yards, said she’d really like for her lost dog to come home, and asked for a sweatsuit.

By mid-morning, one of Santa’s local elves had called to see if we could connect her to the child. As fate would have it, someone on our staff could.

By mid-afternoon, someone else had been touched. He wanted to go and clean the woman’s yards if we could help him find this special little girl and her granny. Fortunately, we could. From the generosity of strangers, Christmas came early, and a little girl got two of her wishes.

Later, someone forwarded us a note from Christy Sasser, mother of 2-year-old Cooper Sasser, who is battling leukemia.

We have written about little Cooper several times. Because of the danger of unwanted guests – i.e., germs – the little boy couldn’t have a birthday party this year. So friends organized a drive to send him cards, and encouraged people to put a dollar bill inside. This community responded, and he received 884 cards!

Here’s what Mrs. Sasser wrote:

“It is so hard to even put into words how blessed we are to live in such a supportive community. The Lord has used so many people in this town to bless us in such a way that it has forever changed our lives. We are so very grateful for every card and prayer that has been sent our way to help us through this ‘faith walk.’ Saying thank you doesn’t even seem like enough. Be we are so grateful to each and every person that took the time to bless Cooper on his birthday. May the Lord pour out his blessings on you all.”

Sweet stories, both, to remind us that we live in a caring community filled with people who look out for their own.

We’d all do well to follow the examples set here. Merry Christmas, one and all.