It always amazes me to witness volunteers in action. While attending a funeral in Marine on St. Croix this past week, I stumbled upon a dozen volunteers organizing a meal after the service. Some volunteers were making sure the tables were just right, others were prepping the food in the kitchen, another was carefully placing flower arrangements. This is happening at churches all around us. I’ve heard a story of a man who drives an older woman to and from her job roughly 10 miles each way. He’s able to do it because he works from home. This past summer, a friend of ours was diagnosed with cancer. A group put together a plan to help out with meals, house cleaning and yard work so the family didn’t have to worry about it for the several weeks he was receiving treatment. Another story is a local guy who loaned a car to a single mom in need of temporary, reliable transportation. It is stories like these that should remind all of us to be thankful, whether we are on the receiving end or have the ability and resources to help others.
As we look around our communities I am awestruck by the extent of what local churches and organizations are doing – providing prayers, food, clothing and resources for people in need. I have toured local food shelves and been humbled that many of the people picking up food are no different than my family. They need a boost, and often it’s temporary. All of us, really, are a job change, illness, or tragedy away from needing help in some way.
This Thanksgiving season, consider helping your neighbors. Maybe ask your church or local food shelf how you can volunteer. Service clubs like the Lions and Rotary Clubs give back on a regular basis. Local business owner Bill Foussard is co-founder of Thanksgiving Meals on Wheels. He’s always looking for help delivering prepacked turkey dinners to those in need Thanksgiving morning. If you’re interested, simply show up at 7 a.m. at Cretin Derham Hall High School, 550 South Albert St. in St. Paul. Two people minimum is required per car, and deliveries are usually done by 11 a.m. Our family has done it and it is an experience to remember. If you don’t have the time to commit to volunteering, these groups and organizations equally appreciate donations of money.
Shop with purpose
To keep our local businesses alive and healthy, it’s more important than ever to keep our spending local. This holiday season, buy from local retailers and locally owned businesses. When we spend outside of the area, we lose out on supporting local jobs, local taxes and local infrastructure.
Look through the paper for great deals from local retailers and remember small business Saturday is Nov. 30.
Many thanks go out to the supporters and voluntary subscribers of the paper. As we wind down our fall voluntary subscription campaign, we will list our five finalists in next week’s paper. The winner will receive a gift card of their choice to a local business. The staff here at Press Publications is thankful for the community support, especially since the paper is free to anyone who wants it. Your support helps keep the news and information flowing into the community.
A few weeks ago, a friend was joking with me by saying he was glad we don’t need farmers anymore because we have grocery stores. He then gave the analogy that we don’t need newspapers because we have the internet. Just like we need farmers to produce the food to stock the shelves at our grocery stores, we need journalists to spend time in meetings, conduct interviews and to write stories about the local things that matter to you.
Thank you again for reading our newspapers, both online and in print. Our goal, as always, is to be your best source of community news and information.
Carter Johnson is publisher of Press Publications.