Last updated: February 19. 2013 11:30PM - 322 Views

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A letter to the editor published Friday in The Times Leader made clear the gift of Christmas.

It's not the getting. It's the giving that makes the holiday.

Laura Preby, a student at Wilkes University, wrote about her participation in a holiday fundraiser organized by the Salvation Army. She bought small gifts for a 9-year-old girl, a youngster Preby will likely never see and never meet. The parents of the 9-year-old will receive the gifts and present them to the child.

Yet Preby wrote: I wish I could see (her) on Christmas morning, opening her gift from me. She does not know it, but she made my Christmas a little better, too.

Thank you Laura, not just for your personal support of an endeavor to make the world a little better for one person, but for sharing your better Christmas as an example to all. Because the gift is in giving.

Truthfully what bauble, what electronic gadget, what thing compares to the wonderfully warm feeling of making someone feel better?

More than 40 years ago President John F. Kennedy said ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country. We need to embrace that in our lives today. Don't ask what you can get; ask, what can I give?

There is no lack of need.

In the weeks leading up to this celebrated day of gift-giving and getting The Times Leader published stories in our Giving Guide series. At our request the staff of the Luzerne Foundation described some agencies in need of help, and scenarios that typified the need.

• There was the woman from Wilkes-Barre who found relief from asthma and other health ailments at the Care & Concern Free Clinic in Pittston. The ministries have served more than 6,000 area residents in the five years since it opened and right now is in need of food, hats gloves and mittens, the help of volunteers as well as monetary donations.

• There was a story about the Magnolia Project, a program of Volunteers of America based in a storefront on in Wilkes-Barre which provides support for young women to have more self confidence.

• And we told the story of Hanover Township resident Constance Hartman whose Pennies from Heaven evolved from a homespun knitting project for a few veterans to a fundraiser to collect money to buy basic hygiene items for veterans.

Each year people read these stories and step up with generous donations to help others in the community, people they likely will never see. We can't thank them enough; they've made our Christmas a little better too.

We ask you: What can you do for your community?

Truthfully what bauble, what electronic gadget, what thing compares to the wonderfully warm feeling of making someone feel better?

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