Hope for the season

Published 7:04 pm Monday, November 28, 2011

A popular sign in front of many churches during the past week or so reads something like this: “Thanksgiving begins with ‘Thanks’ and ends with ‘giving.’” It’s a great little reminder that the season that officially kicked off on Thursday is all about giving.

But Saturday’s headlines about the unfettered greed of people attacking one another in the aisles of stores around the country make it easy to forget the Christmas season is, at a basic level, about “peace, good will toward men.” When both thanks and giving are pushed into the back seat by greed and materialism, peace and good will toward men are left in the street to fend for themselves.

But there is still hope for the spirit of the season. That hope is exemplified by the work of a group of students at Lakeland High School. Service-learning students there are joining with the school’s DECA club to collect hats, gloves and scarves to help make the winter a little more bearable for folks who lack those basic items of clothing.

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The students are calling on others at Lakeland, as well as parents and friends in the community, to help out by donating new items between now and Feb. 3. Those hats, gloves and scarves collected will be donated to residents of the Genieve Shelter and to families served by the ForKids homeless shelter.

The project will help teach students about leadership and teamwork, according to school officials. But far more important, in light of the disheartening headlines and video around Black Friday, is that the project teaches participants about the blessing of giving, about the need for selfless acts in our society.

Lakeland’s students are to be commended for their work on this program. We hope that those who participate by donating hats, gloves and scarves will be blessed for their generosity.