The weeks leading up to the holidays bring into focus the struggles and needs of so many people in our communities.
For the most vulnerable among us, a season meant for reflection and giving thanks far too frequently places added strain on already limited resources.
These are our neighbors, friends, family members and fellow citizens. Too often, on occasions meant for celebration, they are instead making hard choices – whether to keep the table or the boiler full, whether to shop for food or medicine, whether to pay the bills or buy gifts for loved ones.
Amid that difficult reality, however, something else shines through – the spirit of giving and compassion here in the Ocean State.
As the calendar turns to November and the new year approaches, the signs of seemingly countless charitable endeavors are impossible to miss. Food, clothing, heating assistance, vital social services – in every corner of our communities, all are being supported through the efforts of schools and churches, businesses and clubs, nonprofit organizations and driven individuals.
Their respective efforts are too many to name, as are their supporters, and no one cause or contribution should stand above any other. Whether it is a child bringing a canned good for a classroom drive or a corporation making a major financial donation, the willingness to give warrants encouragement and recognition.
The pages of our publications at this time of year serve to do just that, filled as they are with photographs and stories of charity and generosity. We also endeavor to provide context and a personal connection regarding just how real the struggles many face are, and how great the need continues to be.
Often, we use this space to reprise the theme of our shared stake in building a better future. Nowhere can that concept be more readily and fully realized than in our own homes and neighborhoods.
The holiday season serves to highlight more starkly than any other both the hard truths that confront us and the spirit of community that defines us. As we keep our eyes open to the former, let us continue to keep our hearts open to the latter.