Every day I’m reminded of what makes this a special place. From the awe-inspiring scenery to the fantastic outdoor recreation to the community filled with great people. A generosity of spirit prevails, not just during the holidays, but all year; not just through the charitable organizations, but also within the school, businesses, clubs, neighborhoods, individuals and the entire community. Intentional acts of kindness are seen every day and are part of the daily routine of people who live here.
“Are you Joy who writes the P/S column in the Roundup?” asked the smiling lady in front of me in the checkout lane.
“Yes,” I responded, “I must resemble my photo.”
“Exactly,” she said, kind enough not to add the usual “but I didn’t know you were so short.” She said that she lives in Strawberry and reads the column, adding, “I have some things to donate to the food bank for Christmas and wondered if you know where I can take them.”
As I answered, my mind flashed to the sign I had seen outside First Baptist Church on Hwy. 87: “Practice Random Acts of Love” – an admonishment to passer-bys.
Later, as I struggled to load some heavy boxes of firewood onto the front seat of my Jeep, a passerby offered to help. The elderly gentleman wasn’t much bigger than I and appeared somewhat frailer, but that didn’t stop him from seeing my plight and coming to my aid.
An act of kindness or brotherly love is as simple as opening a door for someone, a compliment, a smile, a dime in a bell-ringer’s kettle, a donation to the food bank.
As the holiday nears, there are those who feel far removed from the festivities, unable to put food on the table, let alone buy a Christmas tree – or a present to put under it. With the help of residents like the wonderful lady I met at the checkout, everyone will know the spirit of Pine and Strawberry – the spirit of Christmas.
Pine Strawberry Food Bank
The P/S Food Bank thanks everyone for the turkeys and other food items that were donated for the Thanksgiving food boxes. “All of our seniors and other needy people were able to have a wonderful family dinner thanks to our community,” said Marti Heinert, president of P/S Food Bank.
Marti hopes the food bank will be able to do the same for Christmas. She would like to remind everyone that there is a freezer and food box at the Ponderosa Market for donations. There are also food boxes at the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library, Pine Post Office, and Early Bird and HB’s Restaurants.
They are also collecting toys and gifts for seniors or monetary donations to cover items that are not donated. If you can help, please contact Marti at (928) 476-6469. Donations can also be mailed to P/S Food Bank, PO Box 1534, Pine, Arizona, 85544.
Senior Angel Tree
The Edward Jones office is again sponsoring a Senior Christmas Angel Tree. The tree will have more than 60 names of seniors who are in need of extra cheer this holiday season.
Last year, my husband and I had a wonderful time choosing gifts for two ladies, age 78 and 84, whose names we selected from the Senior Angel Tree. It was an honor to do so in memory of our own mothers who are no longer with us.
If you would like to participate in this rewarding effort, please come by the office at 4010 N. Hwy. 87 in Pine and choose a name or names from the tree. Bring in your wrapped gift by Dec.17.
First Baptist Pine Christmas Eve Service
The First Baptist Church of Pine located on Hwy. 87 will hold two services on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, one at 6 p.m. and the other at 7:30 p.m. to celebrate the reason for the season, the birth and life of Jesus Christ. There will be singing of beautiful Christmas hymns and the Christmas message, culminating in a candlelight singing of Silent Night. Everyone is encouraged to come worship with the members of the congregation on this special night.
P/S School Honors Veterans
On Nov. 30 the annual flag ceremony was held at P/S School to honor our local and our nation’s veterans.
In an assembly in the school gym, two enthusiastic students led teachers, peers and guests in the Pledge of Allegiance and singing of the Star Spangled Banner and the school song, followed by 4th graders singing a heartfelt Grateful Nation.
Group by group, the preschool through 8th grade students and Student Council expressed thanks to veterans for defending our freedom.
Honored guests from all branches of the military, including several members of Payson Military Honor Guard, introduced themselves and told when and where they served.
Colonel Art Stone, USAF Retired, of Payson Honor Guard and Commander of one of the most active honor guard units in the state, gave a perspective on the origin of the 21 gun salute saying the 21 guns are fired because the digits in 1776 add up to 21 (1+ 7 + 7 + 6 = 21). He also demonstrated the proper procedure for folding the American flag and explained the significance of each of the 13 folds.
In a moving presentation, the Honor Guard, assisted by student volunteers, presented the flags from each branch of the service, including Coast Guard and Merchant Marine and the flag of the POW/MIA, representing the troops missing in action.
I would like to commend the Payson Honor Guard, Principal Clark, the Student Council and all of the staff, faculty and students at P/S School for the excellent program and tribute to those who serve our nation.
Please email your Christmas event dates for your church or group or other events to firstname.lastname@example.org.