Celebrating the spirit of Christmas

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Even Ebeneezer Scrooge would be impressed with the way Moffat County residents have kept the true spirit of Christmas alive this holiday season.

Peace on earth is a faraway dream, but we've seen plenty of evidence of good will toward men this season, starting with the community's support of the annual KRAI Holiday Drive.

Even though the drive was shortened from five days to two, Craig residents nearly hit the station's goal to raise $25,000 for the Interfaith Food Bank, Advocates Crisis Support Services, the Community Budget Center, Christmas For Kids and Christmas for Seniors.

Before the community had time to bask in the glow of the achievement, a family from Baggs, Wyo., was burned out of its home. KRAI asked listeners to give a little more and they responded with a plethora of donations. The Community Budget Center and Love In the Name of Christ put the family up at local hotels while local residents provided clothes and other necessities.

Local service groups did their share to make the holidays meaningful. The Rotary Club sponsored a Holiday Home Tour and the proceeds will be used for a reading program, playground equipment and other community programs. The Craig Lions sold Christmas trees to support their mission of ensuring good vision for people of all ages. The Kiwanis Club dressed up a few members like Santa and visited Horizons homes, shut-ins, Sunset Meadows and the hospital to spread Christmas cheer. And the Elks came through with a $3,000 truckload of toys for the Christmas for Kids program.

The Elks and the VFW Ladies Auxiliary also hosted a Christmas party for local children.

The Salvation Army enjoyed plenty of support this year. So many people volunteered to be bell ringers for the annual kettle drive that organizers added an additional day to the schedule.

Calvary Baptist Church sent 20 local volunteers to work in the Denver processing center for Operation Christmas Child, a program that provides gifts to needy children in other countries.

Hundreds of people in many local Craig churches filled shoeboxes with gifts and sent them to the Denver center. The gift boxes were shipped to Mexico and Russia.

First Baptist Church's Angel Tree program has also been a success. The church collected 70 presents to give to children whose parents are in jail. The eighth-grade classes at Craig Middle School made Christmas cards from construction paper, ribbons, bows to give to senior citizens at Sunset Meadows and the Sandrock Ridge nursing home.

There are numerous other examples of people looking to give rather than receive this Christmas, including groups and businesses that adopted needy families for the holidays. We're proud of everyone who went out of his or her way to go beyond the commercialism of the season. Whether you dropped your spare change in the Salvation Army kettle, donated a canned food item or bought a toy for a child who would otherwise go without, we thank you.

Our goal as a community is to keep the giving spirit alive for the rest of the year -- something Moffat County has been pretty successful at. It's heartening to know that we live in such a caring community.

God bless us every one.

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