Archive for Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sharing the Holiday spirit in De Soto

Letter to the editor

November 5, 2008

Earlier and earlier each year, we are surrounded by billboards, TV commercials, radio ads and songs urging us into “holiday spirits.” Even in these most uncertain times, holiday items have already started to fill store shelves. And many of us will wonder just what — apart from carols, food, gifts, spending and planning frenzies — that spirit is all about. Surely, there’s more?

For those who profess a faith, the holidays are a special time for renewing spiritual underpinnings. But for everyone, the holiday spirit is about sharing. Whether we are people of privilege or of more modest means, the holidays can make us mindful of the richness of daily life. And the holiday spirit means gratefully sharing that with others. We know you are pulled from many directions and being asked to donate to many worthwhile efforts: we hope you will be able to share what you can with us.

The De Soto Multi-Service Center, a program of Johnson County Human Services and Aging, is a helping agency whose mission is to be a safety net for the most vulnerable members of our community. We serve those who reside within the De Soto USD 232’s boundaries who struggle yearlong to provide basics for themselves and their families, including food on the table, medical care, shelter and utilities. Lately, the face of those who are struggling has changed as we are seeing more and more new faces experiencing difficulty in these trying times.

We think we do that extremely well, but only because so many others work with us to make it happen. It takes caring and generosity of many community members to provide holiday assistance to those in need. We work cooperatively with other agencies to ensure that our efforts are not being duplicated any your precious resources are being distributed and received in a responsible manner.

We are asking you to provide basic items to brighten the holidays of these low-income families, older adults and people with disabilities. We need:

• Turkeys and hams for Thanksgiving and Holiday food baskets.

• Monetary donations or gift cards toward the purchase of food, clothing and gifts for children.

• Sponsorships of needy persons or families by groups, businesses or individuals.

Please contact the De Soto Multi-Service Center if you can help during the 2008 holiday season. If you have questions, call me or my intern Holly Dankenbring at (913) 583-1182 or email me at Jodi.Hitchcock@jocogov.org.

We are extremely grateful for those who have continued to support us throughout the year, and we welcome those of you new to helping us. Thank you for sharing the spirit of the coming holiday season.

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