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Charitable efforts a beacon of hope

We hear a lot of predictions about the future of our country, and many of them are troubling, to say the least. There are many folks out there who seem to be convinced that this great nation is just not that great anymore.

Listen to enough of these “gloom-and-doom” comments, and you could find yourself tempted to never get out of bed, to just hide beneath the covers — or, better yet, you might decide it’s safer to crawl under the bed.

Well, before you join the dust bunnies, we’d like to point out that recent events provide ample evidence that there are a lot of good people here in Denton County who are working hard to help make tomorrow a little brighter than today.

If you’ve been following our holiday events coverage, you’ve no doubt read about these kind folks and some of their projects — food, toy and clothing drives, fundraisers of all sizes to benefit the less-fortunate and the elderly, blood drives and numerous runs and rides to deliver money and gifts to help make the season and the days beyond a little brighter for those in need.

Yes, a lot of Denton County folks have been teaming up to make a difference this holiday season, including a newly formed coalition of representatives from Farmers Insurance, James Wood Autopark, United Way of Denton County and the Denton Police Department.

This project began several months ago and the organizers recently got to see the end result when they were able to help a local family by providing dependable transportation and other gifts.

This effort is a great example of what can be accomplished when people care enough to try. A donated car was repaired, repainted and put back on the road for the family’s use by a lot of concerned folks who dedicated many hours of their spare time to get the vehicle up and running.

In fact, those involved estimated that James Wood employees dedicated between 100 and 120 hours of their spare time to make repairs to the vehicle.

Dealership employees and others also collected clothing, food and other items to help the family.

It’s an inspiring story, and it certainly helps reinforce that age-old holiday adage that it’s more blessed to give than to receive.

We also realize that it’s just a start, one small step forward. The need is great.

No one knows that better than some of the people involved in this effort. Richard Godoy, family services coordinator for the Denton Police Department, gets a lot of calls from families that need assistance, and few people are more familiar with the level of need in our area than Gary Henderson, president and CEO of the United Way of Denton County.

But they didn’t hesitate to help with this project. They didn’t take a look at the huge need and walk away, shaking their heads and making excuses.

No, they got involved and tried to help. And they succeeded.

So, you can choose to believe that our nation is headed for ruin, or you can throw off the covers and offer a helping hand to those who don’t have the luxury of wasting time feeling sorry for themselves. Other fundraisers and charity events are planned in the days before Christmas, so there are still plenty of opportunities to help.

Why not pick one and get started?