Two stories that ran on adjacent pages in The Press Herald Friday showed how different people react to Christmas traditions.

One of the stories told of how the members of a local congregation, the Next Level Church, gathered up an estimated 5 tons of nonperishable food items for the Wayside Food Rescue Program. Wayside distributes food to the needy via more than 65 area soup kitchens, food pantries and other groups and agencies.

Crediting Next Level’s members for their charity is not to disparage the efforts of others, who collect food or give money all year long to keep the hungry fed. Many donors are not followers of any faith, yet their humanitarian acts are also praiseworthy and shouldn’t be ignored.

The need for such efforts has increased as the economy has worsened in recent years. Though the recession may be over, according to a technical definition used by economists, many Mainers remain in need and rely on providers such as Wayside and its partners for much, if not all, of their needs for sustenance.

The second story was sadder. A Salvation Army facility in Houlton where toys and other gifts for the needy were stored was robbed of some valuable gifts this week.

Such stories of “Grinches” always happen, but they cannot cancel out the good that is done by the vast majority of people whose care for those in need is evidenced by their generosity at Christmas, and all the rest of the year as well.


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