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Let Your Gratitude Flow …

Into gifts that can change lives

     I hope that you are among the fortunate who counted and credited your blessings in the company of family and friends all anticipating digging into the Thanksgiving feast.
     I hope your dinner was rich with food and fellowship and wine, the latter if you’re so inclined.
     I hope your harvest was good, whether gathered by hand from fields and Bay or from resources of later invention.
     I hope that at Thanksgiving’s accounting, you found enough gain to balance your losses.
     I hope gratitude welled in your heart and mind so bountifully that it overflows in generosity. 
     The season of Thanksgiving primes us for the season of giving. Our larder is so full we want to share it with others. Trouble is, in the community of the fortunate, those we love are likely to have larders full as our own.
     Maryland is America’s richest state, by many measures. We have the highest percentage of millionaire households. We are home to six of the nation’s highest-income counties. Howard tops the list, but in 2010 ratings, Anne Arundel and Calvert ranked 18th ($89K+) and 19th ($87K+) in a list of 3,144.
     What to give to someone who has everything is the seasonal fret. We’ll get to that in the issue of December 14, our 11th-Hour Gift Guide. 
     This week we write about another kind of generosity.
     That’s our richness in charity.
     Here at Bay Weekly, our heads swim with the good our citizens do. Not a day goes by that we don’t learn how charities large and small are reaching out to improve the lives of people whose statistics are not so rosy.
     For they are there, living among us. At the bottom of our wealth average are Anne Arundel’s 5.6 percent who ranked as poor in 2015. That’s 31,600 people. And Calvert’s 3.7 percent, amounting to 3,350 people. 
     Conditions of physical and mental health add to ranks of people whose needs are greater than our admirably high average.
     Every need, it seems to us, has its charity. Many of those are rooted right here in Chesapeake Country, created by citizens moved to action by neighbors in distress. 
     Each year in this season of giving, we introduce you to some of those charities. With so many worthy, our selection, though happenstance, can never go wrong.
     In this week’s paper, you’ll read about the Annapolis Quilt Guild, The Autism Project, Box of Rain, The Caring Collection, Giving Back, Linda’s Legacy and Seeds 4 Success.
     All are local, all unique to this time and place and each the living legacy of a person, or a small group, who decided they really could make a difference and kept at it, inspiring others to join their cause. All inspired us to learn and share their story. Read about them in Charity Begins at Home.
     For a wider range, staff writer Kathy Knotts writes how we can Play Santa in Ways that Matter. Her story tracks down who in Anne Arundel and Calvert counties needs (or wants) what and why — plus where, when and how you can give in ways that make a difference in people’s lives.
     I hope your giving inclination brings you to Bay Weekly, where until Dec. 1, we are helping Santa by collecting new, unwrapped toys for kids who live along the Forest Drive corridor. Find us at 1160 Spa Rd., 1A, right at Forest Drive.