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Our Opinion: Gifts reflect heart of community

News Tribune editorial

A way to measure the heart of a community is by its capacity to give.

By that measurement, the heart of our community beats with fullness and vitality.

The Christmas season, which culminated with Tuesday’s holiday, overflowed with acts of compassion and generosity.

Activities and initiatives were sparked by businesses and government, in schools and churches, through organizations and individual acts of kindness.

A story in our Christmas Eve edition focused on two local organizations that helped the government office of the Cole County public administrator provide gifts to clients. The public administrator manages about 225 client cases in the county.

Gifts may be basic necessities — groceries and winter clothing — or toys and games for children.

Opportunities for fellowship are another type of gift to alleviate loneliness and isolation during the holidays. These gifts come in the form of concerts, activities and holiday dinners designed to bring people together for camaraderie and sharing.

And — last but hardly least — let us not forget the individual, personal gift — cookies for a neighbor, a visit to a nursing home, an outing with a youngster in a mentor program.

These gifts — which require time — convey a sentiment well beyond the gift itself; they bolster the recipients’ sense of self-worth by telling them they are important.

In that regard, they reflect the gift Christians celebrate on Christmas Day.

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