Sharing at Christmas provides a blessing to all of those who make it happen.

For over 30 years, The New Albany Gazette and staff have had the privilege of organizing and contributing to an effort to provide food boxes to those of our neighbors who are in need during the Christmas season. This year has been no different. We have been blessed with this opportunity to share, along with all of you who have contributed so unselfishly to your Union County neighbors.

Although we did not reach our very optimistic goal of $25,000 for 2008, we did receive enough donations to provide food boxes and toys for those families who have children in their homes, for 268 Union County families.

But it’s not only about contributing money, the National Guard volunteers, the Union County employees, the New Albany High School Air Force R. O. T. C. volunteers, the Union County Sheriff’s Department, The New Albany Light, Gas and Water employees, the New Albany Police Department and the Union County Supervisors gave of their time and their energies to make sure these food boxes and toys were correctly delivered to the proper recipients.

Sharing at Christmas is truly a community effort with many unsung heroes who make things happen to help us get the work done.

It turned out to be impossible to record the names of all the people who stepped forward to assist us in the actual process of getting the food boxes put together and delivered. So, to those who worked at the Armory unloading the truck, sorting food, sorting toys and/or receiving the joy of delivering to appreciative and deserving recipients, we offer you our sincerest thanks.

Each year, the number of Union County families who are assisted by Sharing at Christmas increases. Each year, the cost of food and toys increases, as well. But, at the same time, the generosity of the people of Union County always is enough to take care of their neighbors. This is proven through the continued success of Sharing at Christmas and the many other charities providing much needed assistance to the less fortunate in our county.

We are reminded at this time of the year how fortunate we are to live in Union County and to have the things necessary to live decent and productive lives. It is our prayer that those who do not share our good fortune will find that 2009 will bring them opportunity and success.

And, that’s what the spirit of Sharing at Christmas is all about.