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A Christmas Message from the Bradenton Times

BRADENTON -- Christmas is a special time of the year. It is not about the material things in life, but rather the human or even spiritual side of our shared experience. Thinking about doing a little act of kindness, going out of your way to do something special for someone, or just thinking of how you can reunite with family and friends are things most of us do during this season.

It is also a difficult time of the year for many, especially those that have fallen on hard times. The lack of finances to buy gifts, or provide even a basic meal for themselves or their family can be very depressing. For those who have strained relations with family or friends, there is an added challenge.

However, we live in a great and caring community. It is not hard to see the giving, the compassionate help, and yes the love for each other and especially for those in need. From the ringing of the bell outside most stores, to the anonymous donor giving to a person in need, we live in a community that cares and while we may not agree on every issue, it is during these times when our shared compassion can be seen so clearly to outweigh our differences.

That is why if you are a person in need this year,  you should not be afraid to ask for help. From area churches and charities to social agencies that focus on your specific challenge, there are open doors and open arms. If you are a person who possesses the means to help someone else, then give that extra blessing during this time of the year.

Most agencies make it easy to give and often you can contribute online, without even leaving your home. If you are unable to contribute financially during these tough times, you might clean out your closet of unused clothes or blankets and drop them off to the Salvation Army or the One Stop Center for the Homeless. Most of us have something we can give to share, to provide for our neighbor in need, even if it is our time we that volunteer to help those organizations deliver help to others.

On behalf of the staff of The Bradenton Times, we wish you a very Merry Christmas season and thank you for allowing us to provide a valuable service to our community.


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