- Grove City, Pennsylvania


January 10, 2012

Many played Santa Claus for charities this season

GROVE CITY — YOU don't have to wear a red suit and have a white beard to play Santa Claus. A lot of wonderful people did it by simply putting money in a kettle.

A story on the front page of The Herald Friday told the tale of how hard Christmas is on people who barely have enough money to feed their families, let along provide gifts for their children.

But thanks to the generosity of local people, 848 children woke up on Christmas morning with gifts because of donations of money and presents to the Salvation Army. Their names were drawn from a special Salvation Army tree.

But it didn't stop there. While the Salvation Army also provided food for many needy this holiday, many other agencies were able to provide for area families because of the benevolence of others.

Throughout the holiday season, numerous charitable organizations conducted drives to help out families in need. And because of the economic downturn that has hit this area in recent years, those drives made a huge difference in the lives of many people.

Saturday's Allied News detailed a number of local drives, such as the success of the Olde Town Grove City Parade of Trees. Fifteen non-profits decorated trees at 15 businesses and people voted with 5,092 non-perishable food items collected for the Grove City Community Food Pantry, more than in 2009 and 2010. In the process, the youth group at East Main Presbyterian won $100 for being the tree-decorating non-profit that brought in the most items; likewise, the winning Hillview Elementary class will be rewarded with a pizza party.

The food pantry staff and board members were overwhelmed in recent months by the generosity of so many organizations, individuals, churches and businesses in the community. Executive director Traci Turner noted the American Legion Post 220 donated 650 frozen turkeys before Thanksgiving and did the same for Christmas before she even had the chance to ask the public.

Mercer Area Elementary School students, led for the first time by their student council to donate to the United Way of Mercer County, gave more than $1,038 represented in paper gingerbread people filling an entire wall, surrounding a "Helping Others is Sweet" banner.

Thanks to the donations of so many locals, The Herald's Good News Fund was also able to provide turkeys for 1,200 tables this Christmas. The food was distributed through the Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County, which supplies the Grove City Community Food Pantry among others.

Christmas has always been regarded as a time for giving. And as we all have been taught: "It's better to give than receive."

But every person who gave to help improve the lives of the needy this holiday - especially the children- receives a special thanks and round of applause.

And you substitute Santas and your families deserve a very special wish because you helped make the season bright for others.

Editorials express the official opinions of Allied News. Comments and replies are welcome and will be published as either Allied Forum articles or as letters to the editor.

Published Dec. 28, 2011, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.

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