Local signs of generosity are many
It is all in, all done. Grannie Annie’s Adopt-a-Chaplain project delivered to the Post Office this morning, the final 50 boxes of 350, sent to her seven adopted Military Chaplains. Grannie and I continue to be amazed by the generosity of this Southwestern Nebraska area that makes this project, love for our fellow men and women, possible.
All you who delivered items to send, the untold number of you who sent monetary donations, significant amounts and many that were the widow’s mite, are part of the effort. All of you who wrote Christmas cards to be included and especially the teachers who had their students handcraft missals of Christmas cheer (“Thank you for being brave.” “Come home safe!” — and many more touching (and innocent) all priceless.
Many the helpers that showed up to pack, tape and seal the boxes for their postal journey to a destination over 8,000 miles away. The helpful staff at our post office that cheerfully accepted, processed the customs forms and sent the boxes on their way. All appreciated and all vital to making the project go. Grannie Annie, who professes to only be “the hand and feet” to make it possible and this old guy too have been richly blessed and we heartedly want to thank you one and all.
Actually, Grannie Annie’s project extends year around. Every couple of weeks she will send several boxes to each of her adopted Chaplains as their tours of duty continue. It is just that at Christmas the annual big push takes place to let our dedicated men and women in a not very happy place know that someone cares even though they are far from home, family and friends.
Contemplating putting the above together your old-guy columnist drove through our fair city noting the many many edifices marking generosity by men and women that have lived here. There are quite a number of wonderful gifts to our community dedicated to making this a better place to live. Selfless gifts to build and gifts to continue operations into the future.
I’m thinking The Kiplinger Arena and associated buildings at the Fair Grounds donated by Tom Kiplinger — no tax money.
The splendid athletic complex at the College by Pete and Delores Graff, complementing earlier donations by Mary Brady and the Ben Hormel family.
The YMCA building and the original Senior Center both built with free-will donations and, yes, Don Klein had a finger in the effort to build both along with all the building activity at the Fairgrounds.
The many churches in the community again built with donations and no government tax money. The original Carnegie Museum was built with donated money and the expanded new larger Museum Of The High Plains Historical Society the result of one who dreamed and put together a fundraising effort to bring it to fruition. The new Community Hospital building constructed to replace St. Catharine’s same thing. A special treat at this time of year is Santa Claus Lane, upkeep made possible by a trust fund in memory of Norma Strunk.
The list goes on and I am sure I unintentionally missed many more.
So, day after tomorrow, when we gather around the Thanksgiving table we can all offer up a prayer of thanksgiving for the spirit of generosity that helped make this gracious community a wonderful place to live work and raise our children.
We are richly blessed to be a part of this town, the expanded community of Southwest Nebraska and the United States of America.
That is how I saw it.