Op/Ed

Spreading a little cheer

HOPE E. TREMBLAY

The past few weeks the paper has been filled with stories about ways people can help others this holiday season. And it makes my heart happy.

Resident Lesley Lambert organized an effort to collect donations for Blessing Bags for the Samaritan Inn; The Good Table is also collecting items for the Inn; Westfield Police Cadets collected toys; Westfield Middle School faculty and staff donated more than 200 gifts for the Salvation Army Toys for Joy campaign; Westfield State Campus Police have its Stuff-A-Cruiser event; Westfield State students hosted events to benefit the Food Pantry; The Southwick Civic Fund is accepting donations of toys for children in Southwick, Tolland and Granville; the Kiwanis Club of Westfield hosted a holiday craft fair and its Circle K International club at Westfield State hosted its annual Breakfast with Santa, with proceeds benefitting programs for area youth.

The list goes on and on.

And it’s not just about giving gifts — lifting people’s spirits through church services, support groups and events spread joy as well.

Cultural organizations including ArtWorks of Westfield and Westfield on Weekends brought the sounds, sights and even scents of the season to the city through an art show, family lantern workshop, lantern parade, Mayor’s Tree Lighting and holiday home tour. In Southwick, a Winter Forest tree festival commemorated the 250th anniversary of the town and brought people together.

I know there are folks who do not enjoy the holiday season, and it’s usually not because they are being a Grinch or a Scrooge. It could be a reminder of family and friends no longer with them. Or maybe the hectic pace of the holidays is overwhelming. Maybe they are struggling to pay the bills and stressing about having gifts under the tree for their children. Whatever the reason, I hope those who are less than enthusiastic about the holidays can find peace during this season.

For me, it’s a time to focus on the positive. There are so many negative things happening in the world that this time of year makes me think about the good in it. That’s why we share so many of these stories of neighbors helping one another – to offer some good stories and maybe inspire readers to spread that spirit.

If you have an uplifting holiday story to share, a person or organization to tout or a first responder to thank, send us a Letter to the Editor at [email protected]

 

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