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Volume 16, Issue 48 - November 27 - December 3, 2008
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Letter From the Editor

Another Reason for Thanks: Our Giving Neighbors

There’s a lot of news you don’t want to read these days. Daily doses of desperate financial times — from the nations of the world right down to the neediest in your neighborhood — makes the A-section of your newspaper as scary as Halloween film fare.

Good thing you’re reading Bay Weekly.

For Thanksgiving, we’re serving good news.

All year long, we hear about the good being done by our neighbors. We get press releases from organizations and tips from the woman down the street. We help Calvert County decide which community-nominated volunteer to honor with its Calvert You Are Beautiful award. Only a few we hear about have the resources to give financially, but many have selected causes and stepped up with talent. Such encounters show you a different world from television’s bedlam of bad news.

This is charity in the classic, I — thou sense of the word. And it’s stuff likely to fly under the radar screen of the kind of news you make by breaking something.

We’ve been saving up those stories; saving string is the saying in journalism for holding onto pieces till you tie them together and see what you can do with them.

What to do with them came from Lisa Knoll, our director of sales and marketing, whose job here and work with Rotary opens her ears to plenty of stories about the quiet good people do. Use them for a series of Thanksgiving profiles, she suggested. They also may shed light on ways that people of lesser means might be able to give back.

That’s exactly what we’ve done. It’s taken three of us. We’ve filled the paper, and even so we’ve only scratched the surface. Each person’s story — whether their gift is small, large or enormous — brings a fresh rush of amazed gratitude that such people are our neighbors. So with this story, we’re saying thank you for all the stories we’ve heard and the people we’ve met — and the many others we haven’t reached yet.

Which reminds me: Thank you is a phrase it doesn’t pay to be stingy with. Requests for donations is a standard part of the day for many of the business givers we talked to. Yet more than one told us that few, perhaps a third, remember to say thank you — for the time they’ve taken and the donation they’ve received. Other groups send form letters, expecting they’ll get simply because they’ve asked. Apparently, people on the asking side forget that giving is a person-to-person partnership, from the heart on both sides.

If you’ve read this story before you count your own reasons for thanks this Thanksgiving, you’ll be able to add your beneficent neighbors to your enumeration. If you read it later in the week, the lesson may be that thanks deserves a long season. We’ve been so impressed at what we’ve learned that we’ve put finding a cause on our list of New Year’s resolutions. Of course that’s another story: one you’ll read in your Bay Weekly of January 2, 2009.

editor and publisher

Sandra Olivetti Martin, Editor and publisher


© COPYRIGHT 2008 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.