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Community benefits when you share your blessings [Editorial]

Americans have learned, particularly over the past few years, to hold onto their money a bit tighter. While the economy slogs along, there seemingly isn't as much disposable income as most might have had years ago.

The practical nature for many is that it might mean one less gift purchased this holiday season. Most of us, when we stop to think about it, are truly blessed. The trouble is, in this fast-paced world, we don't always give it a thought. So the time-out afforded us this Thursday gives us that opportunity.

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It also presents us another opportunity to think about others who aren't so fortunate.

As we approach the holiday season, the time is appropriate to consider what we are doing — or could be doing — to provide help to those who need it.

No doubt it is true that between work, family and other obligations, time can be limited for participating directly in delivering meals, tutoring, caring for shelter animals and other works of mercy. As our annual Share Your Blessings list indicates, you can help the various nonprofits help others by providing them with the supplies they need. Chances are, items in the wish-lists are already in your house and going unused.

A lot of these agencies could use those canned goods sitting idle in the back of your kitchen cabinets. Those who care for children have a purpose for the art supplies and toys your children stopped using or never used. Animal shelters not only need pet food, but also cleaning products. People shelters need clothing and bedding. All of them can use gift cards for department stores and supermarkets.

Even a small gesture could be helpful beyond what you'd ever know. By our actions, we build the kind of community we want. This holiday season — and hopefully the rest of the year — sharing our blessings can make a real difference.

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