Thank you to the Portland Press Herald for the stories on Page B1 Dec. 26 by Jon Bolduc of the Lewiston Sun Journal, Sam Shepherd of the Kennebec Journal and Scott Thistle of the Press Herald.

Bolduc’s article, “Work the holiday? You weren’t alone,” featured Auburn franchise coffee shop owner Tulio DeAlmeida, who pitches in, with his family, so that staff can take off for Christmas Day.

In Thistle’s article, “Churches have the recipe for Christmas,” he featured Joy Knight, who has run a community Christmas dinner in Westbrook for the past 11 years. Thistle wrote: “Knight said while many who come may not have another option for sit-down Christmas dinner, there are also families or groups of people who show up just to be part of something bigger than themselves … .”

Shepherd’s article, “Augusta dinner all about serving the community,” featured the Augusta Angel Food Network and its organizer, Carlene Kaler, whose growing number of interdenominational volunteers create a Christmas meal. Kaler told Shepherd: “Sometimes we just need people to visit with the people attending the meal. It takes a village.”

After reading the national political news – last week, last month and the last two years – so often featuring the harshest, cruelest, most selfish and least generous qualities of some of our citizens and leaders, I have renewed faith in our country. May the kindness and open-hearted generosity characteristic of so many Mainers spread through the country – healing the nation and perhaps the planet.

Joseph Py

Portland