Opinion

Holiday season inspires giving | Editorial

This is a time of year when things like family gatherings, office holiday parties, and elbowing shoppers out of the way for the hot toy every kid wants can make people a tiny bit cranky.

And the lovely weather doesn’t help.

In those moments of holiday-induced stress it is worth remembering that the communities this paper covers — Covington, Maple Valley, Black Diamond and surrounding unincorporated neighborhoods — are full of people doing amazing things.

From high school students to churches to local businesses, the spirit of giving is beyond measure, and these communities give all year long. But, there’s some kind of extra special embracing of those in need during the holidays around here that is beyond description.

Let me throw out a bunch of examples just to give you a sense of the sheer amount of awesome we have around here.

There’s the community at Kentwood High, which has already begun its annual Munch Madness food drive, which last year raised nearly 40,000 pounds for local food banks.

Kentwood also completed its Big Give project in partnership with Solid Rock Community Church and gave away bags and bags of food — full Thanksgiving dinners, in fact — Nov. 17 to families in the community.

This year, Leadership students at Kentlake are conducting a food drive while members of Link Crew have asked students to help provide clothing and blankets for those in need this holiday season.

There are surely more projects happening in schools in all of our communities, those are just a few examples.

In this issue, I’ve written a story about Kim Emmons, who along with her husband Jack owns John L. Scott of Maple Valley. Kim Emmons has reached out to the community for donations of shoes for children in foster care right here in this city.

Or the Nutty Squirrel, co-owned by Maple Valley resident Amy Shadd, has a giving tree set up in the gelato shop for Vine Maple Place, a Maple Valley-based non-profit which provides transitional housing for single parents and their children.

Mountain Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Covington delivered 25 turkey dinner boxes to families in the Timberlane neighborhood as well as the greater Covington area in partnership with Cedar Valley Elementary.

Additionally, members of the Mountain Vineyard congregation are collecting donations for a love offering to a sister church, Vineyard Christian Fellowship, in Mount Morris, N.J., which is working to assist victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Beyond that, Mountain Vineyard will again throw an outdoor Christmas party for residents of the Green River Gorge Resort RV-Trailer Park. This is the 10th year the church has done so.

The Storehouse, a food bank supported by a number of Covington-area churches, will offer Christmas shopping for gifts for families which are clients. This allows parents to choose gifts for their children which they know the youngsters will like.

Ginger ‘Mama’ Passarelli was in New York City last week with The Soup Ladies feeding Thanksgiving dinner to folks in need there.

Then there’s the annual ‘Shop With a Cop’ event sponsored by Maple Valley Rotary, which is in partnership with Walmart and the Greater King County Police Activities League to provides each child $50 to go Christmas shopping with a police officer. Shop With a Cop will happen in December.

As everyone emerges from the haze some in retail call “Christmas halftime,” also known as Thanksgiving, along with the crazy Black Friday experience, Cyber Monday and all the other sales which emphasize the first world-ness of the winter holiday season in this country, it is good to remember all the good people in our communities do.

Perhaps it will inspire you to embrace the spirit of service this year to fend off the crankiness that can come from the overwhelming stress this season seems to engender.

 

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