Volunteers Revel In Joy Of Giving



I read with delight your editorial of Dec. 13 regarding Christmas charities and the Scrooges who criticize them.

For the past 15 years, I have had the privilege of chairing the Lioness Community Christmas Food Drive.

I grew up listening to stories about bad children receiving lumps of coal and how my parents and their parents were thrilled when they found an orange in their Christmas stocking.

An orange? What's up with that? Who would be happy with an orange for Christmas?

After the first few years of handing out food baskets, I observed a mother with three shy children approach to pick up their food box. One of the youngsters saw a bag of oranges alongside their Christmas turkey. "Momma oranges!! We got oranges!!!" He raved on for two or three minutes before his mother calmed him down.

This and other similar events, seeing the wide-eyed excitement of children at Christmas, thrilled at the prospect of eating a full meal or receiving their sought-after toy, kept me volunteering for this event year after year.

The Lioness Club also works year-round to help the less fortunate in the community, though their main focus is to raise money for Lions Sight and Hearing, Camp Sunrise, Camp Tatiyee, Payson Helping Payson and other worthwhile charities around the Rim country.

For the past few years, because of the aging membership, the Lioness Club has been searching for a younger and more energetic group to step up to take over this project. Fortunately, the Optimist Club did just that.

I can't express my appreciation for all the help I have received from the community over the years with this project.

I encourage you all to support the Optimists in this endeavor.

If you want to help, please send a check to Rim Country Optimist Club, P.O. Box 360, or better yet -- show up Dec. 23, around 9 a.m., at the Rim Country Middle School gym to volunteer. Maybe you, too, will have the opportunity to witness the wide-eyed excitement of a child excited about an orange.

Oh, and to you, Mrs. Scrooge, I hope you enjoy your lump of coal.

Jan Parsons, Christmas Community Volunteer

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