EDITORIAL: A generous season

Long before the Daily Journal hit sidewalks and paper racks this morning, some shoppers made the first bargain hits of what’s called “Black Friday” – the day that historically changes bottom lines of all kinds of retailers toward profitability as the Christmas shopping rush hits full stride.
Northeast Mississippi shopping centers, malls and most downtown retail districts will bustle today, with perfect weather forecast for a day’s outing.
We unapologetically support the businesses of our region because the economy is woven tightly for mutual benefit, ours of course, and all other enterprises that depend on buying and selling within Northeast Mississippi.
Retail shopping and other business activities in our region support employees and employers alike, and in an important secondary impact, the tax revenues from sales within Northeast Mississippi help municipalities’ revenues and the state’s need for taxes to pay for essential services.
Whether locally owned and operated or chain retail, shopping supports thousands of jobs in Northeast Mississippi, and pay checks mean additional sums spent in our region.
In addition, the seasonal impact reaches into the non-profit sector; many charities depend heavily on year-end generosity spurred, in part, by the holiday seasons and traditions of generosity flowing across the culture of the region.
The Salvation Army always come to mind during the Christmas season because of its kettle drives; its remarkable work among the lonely, homeless, outcast and people lost along the way always deserves the support of people more fortunate, even if in limited circumstances.
The list of deserving causes is sprawling.
Mississippians, as a proportion of income, are among the most charitable people in the United States. Proportional generosity supports the success of diverse and specialized non-profits touching and improving lives.
Very soon, for example, probably before Christmas, the Antone Tannehill Good Samaritan Free Clinic in Tupelo will see its 50,000th patient. The clinic serves Lee countians who are employed but without health insurance coverage. It treats many but not all illnesses, and it helps patients in need of referral find free or affordable care elsewhere.
Its operation depends on financial generosity and on equally freely offered volunteer time from the professional health care community and lay volunteers. It is a remarkable operation.
Almost everyone in every community has a favorite non-church charity, and networking for support is an important factor in sustaining the work of non-profits.
The way we support and help one another in a season of generosity makes a difference for the long term in the quality of life Northeast Mississippi offers.

NEMS Daily Journal