Tis the season. The season of celebrating family, friends, and home. The season of giving generously to those we love and to the community we care about.
We get to see this generosity up close and personal at The River Center. I had been out for a couple of days this week and when I came back into my office I found that it was Christmas Central. A large table had been set up in the corner of my office, covered with gifts from community members for local children and families. Our Chief Elf, Tina Kriebel, is once again coordinating people who want to give with families who need help. When other giving programs deadlines have come and gone, we still get calls from anxious parents wondering how to have presents under the tree. Tina collects their information and finds eager and generous folks who are willing to purchase gifts to fill specific needs and wants. It is a joy to watch this generosity in action.
Last week I received a visit from a special friend. Every year he comes in with a jar of coins. At least it looks like a jar of coins. He and I both know that he and his wife have some very large bills rolled up inside, making this a very valuable jar indeed. This couple asks that we use this jar to help a family with need. We have used it in many ways through the years. One year it went to a family for car repairs. Another year it paid for special lessons for a child needing something to call her own. How fun to be the conduit between our special anonymous donors and a family in need in our community.
We have many examples of this spirit of giving in action. Santa was kind enough to make a special visit to The River Center December 9 and bring joy to many children and their parents. Dr. Greg Kriebel volunteered his time and expertise to answer parents’ questions December 5. C & S Wholesale once again has supplied gifts for many families in our community. The Black Swan called with hand knitted scarves made by staff and customers to donate to families. Many individuals are part of Tina’s Christmas Angels who go shopping for gifts for strangers, knowing they are putting a smile on a parent’s face and bringing joy to their children.
And then we had representatives from Eversource who donated live Christmas trees, lights, and tree stands to our families. One mom started crying when she got her tree because she hadn’t had a real tree since she was a little girl and she had forgotten how wonderful balsam smells.
We are so grateful for the many individuals and businesses in our community that support The River Center through their volunteer time and financial gifts. As a nonprofit, we are dependent on the generosity of our donors and funders. Volunteers provide needed skills, enthusiasm and manpower to accomplish the many programs and services we offer. The upcoming free tax preparation program is a great example of skilled volunteers at work. If you are interested in volunteering at The River Center, please contact me (see below) or Tina Kriebel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for caring for your neighbors through your many acts of kindness, your generosity, and the giving of yourself. I am so happy to be part of this community and grateful for you all.
Best wishes for a wonderful and happy holiday!