Editorial: Christmas spirit alive on Whidbey

What better time than Christmas to celebrate Whidbey Island’s giving spirit?

Hard economic times have been eased a bit for hundreds of island families. We have groups that raise money to help with medical expenses, collect donations for food banks, make sure no kid goes to school without a backpack and various learning essentials, and others that operate soup kitchens to feed the hungry and the lonely.

Whidbey Island organizations produce elaborate dinners and auctions to benefit such organizations as Big Brothers / Big Sisters, help reduce sex trafficking around the world, to support the museum and festivals, and send students to college or skill competitions around the U.S., whether they be related to the culinary arts, auto mechanics, athletics or American history. And every Thanksgiving, no one needs to be hungry or lonely thanks to free dinners provided in Oak Harbor and Coupeville.

It’s safe to say that every church on the island has a fund to help the needy both locally and worldwide, and many send people to such places as Uganda and Haiti to build schools and give the downtrodden hope. Our doctors and dentists often spend time in third world countries healing the poor. Lions Clubs help the blind see and the deaf hear around the world. And our military is far from just a war machine. Whidbey Island Naval Air Station is always ready to rescue stranded mountain climbers and sinking boaters or send personnel and equipment around the world to help the natives dig out from under the latest tsunami or volcano. When not on deployment, sailors help in the schools and promote healthy youth activities.

The message of Christmas is that there is always hope, especially if we put the needs of others before ourselves. Watching what happens on Whidbey Island year around, this is a message we take seriously. Merry Christmas everyone. You deserve it.

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