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Season Of Giving
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We want your ‘feel good’ stories. The ones about people — or organizations — in the community that are working hard already to make the upcoming holidays a bit brighter. And we want to promote the efforts designed to aid those in need in our area.

Maybe you know of someone that makes an annual contribution, or perhaps a local school group or scout pack that makes homemade cards to deliver to care homes. We want to hear about them.

As the economy struggles to get out of the recession experts tell us is already over, it’s heartening to find people willing to give more than they can probably afford themselves, just to help others.

Those of us at the newspaper already know of many efforts, with school food drives, blood drives, Toys for Tots, Coats for Kids, and local community Thanksgiving efforts … but chances are there is a lot more going on that we haven’t heard about yet. Drop us a line, give us a call or grab a photo and submit it with some information, as we look to put together a feature page on holiday happenings.

Thanksgiving, unbelievably, is next week and after that, the weeks fly by until Christmas. So if you haven’t started your holiday shopping yet, you’re probably behind schedule …

Throughout our tri-city area of Oakdale, Riverbank, and Escalon — and the surrounding hamlets, too — we enjoy a special sense of community and don’t have to look very far to see ‘neighbor helping neighbor’ in any number of ways. There are chances for everyone to give, and every little bit helps.

Coats for Kids takes gently used coats and gets them cleaned and ready for giving to those in need. Toys for Tots gets new, unwrapped toys into the hands of children that might not otherwise have anything for the holiday. Local stores and banks often have giving trees, with name tags on the tree of either senior citizens or children that have a ‘wish list’ for the holidays, often looking for something as simple as a warm blanket or a new pair of shoes.

Scouts collect food, school classes collect food, items that go to our local food pantries. Community service clubs are out there, making a difference in a number of ways. Donations made locally help people locally, and we can all do our part by giving, even a little.

We also want to help by promoting the ongoing efforts. Provide whatever assistance you can by sending the information to us at ‘Holiday Helpers,’ The Oakdale Leader, 122 S. Third Ave., Oakdale, CA 95361 or give us a call at 847-3021.

Working together, we can help make the upcoming holiday season a blessed one for all.