ON this day, we give thanks for our blessings.
But this is only one day. There are many others on which the people in this community in particular should give thanks for that which we enjoy.
This has not been and should not be regarded as a passive gesture.
There are many things in this community that are provided to those who call it home. A great number of these benefits are made possible by those who live among us. This spirit of giving has been manifested in a number of ways — some expansive, others quietly.
Earlier this month supporters of the Volunteers in Medicine effort raised a record setting amount of $164,000 from the annual Reverse Raffle and Gala at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center.
The amount was especially noteworthy because this was the 17th time the raffle has been staged. Although the format has been essentially unchanged, the event has still been able to constantly post record-breaking results.
The importance of the fundraising effort can’t be overstated. All proceeds benefit a clinic that offers medical treatment to low-income and uninsured individuals.
A great deal of the expenses that would be incurred in such an operation have been deferred because of the thousands of volunteer hours of service provided by local health care professionals. That generosity amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in expenses that are not incurred.
Another instance of selfless generosity was reported on the pages of The Republic in recent weeks.
The granddaughters and a niece of cancer patient Vera Boggs took it upon themselves to assist in her recovery period by each agreeing to cut 10 inches of their long blond hair that would be used to create a custom wig for the Columbus resident.
In monetary terms, the gift was of minimal value, but the personal connection that was deepened between them can only be described as priceless.
Another news item reported in recent days underlines the extent to which local institutions have gone in publicizing specific needs in the community and providing residents with ways they can help address those needs.
For the third year in a row, the Heritage Fund — the Community Foundation of Bartholomew County has issued its list of gift ideas for community not-for-profit organizations.
The Grant-a-Wish program offers residents a list of specific uses for their donated dollars — $55 would feed all of the animals at the Bartholomew County Humane Society for a day or $550 would provide Turning Point Domestic Violence Services with new bedding for the entire shelter, for instance.
Last year the program raised more than $33,000 and granted 111 wishes. The goal for this year is $50,000.
In addition to the individual donations, matching amounts of up to $500 each (to a total of $25,000) will be provided by Elwood Staffing, MainSource Bank and Marguerite Rust.
These are only a fraction of the ways in which this community expresses its thanks. We single them out in recognition of this particular day, but they speak to a spirit, an attitude that should be a part of every day of the year in this community.