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Editorial: Thanks for giving so freely and so often
Our communitys efforts to help those in need is what the holiday is all about
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This Thanksgiving, we’re especially grateful to serve such a generous and caring community. Our job as journalists often involves bringing you news of tragedies, struggle and heartache. Time and again, we share these stories and are overwhelmed by those who respond asking how they can help.

Recently we reported the story of a young Gainesville High School football player whose family has struggled to pay their bills and keep a home. Almost immediately, people responded on our social media page asking how they could donate money or otherwise help this family. A GoFundMe page was set up by a friend of the family, with a goal to raise $500. Small donations began rolling in and as of Monday, the page had raised $2,515.

We’ve reported numerous stories this past month about flooding issues at a homeless encampment in Gainesville and seen people gather together to address the issue.

We reported more than a year ago about issues in our foster care system, and multiple churches have since joined forces to begin a ministry to help these children.

The list could go on.

Poverty and tragedy likely will never be eradicated, but we can be thankful every day that we have a community of people who step up — often without even being asked as they are made aware of a problem — to help their neighbors in need.

In addition, in following a holiday tradition, we in The Times’ newsroom have a few other nuggets of gratitude for which we are thankful:

• The amazing lives that ended this year but linger on in the works and creations they left behind.

• All the great health care workers in North Georgia, the love and support of my family and the patience and flexibility of my employer during difficult times.

• The chance to marry my best friend in March and for a church that encourages me to live beyond my own purposes. Plus, I’m grateful for my family and friends, as well as the opportunity to tell the stories of this community.

• My brother and father who have worked tirelessly throughout the year to help me renovate my fixer-upper house in Gainesville.

• A family that was able to shuffle all their busy schedules across the country to where we will all be together on Thanksgiving for the first time in three years. Also my chubby little pug, who still makes me smile after 14 years.

• The mute button on the remote.

• That God heard my prayers and my mom is a few short steps from being cancer free. I’m thankful for everyone that took time out of their lives to pray for her.

• For fall (my favorite season) and the crunchy, colorful leaves and crisp, cool air. And all the trivial things that come along with it that make me so happy: sweaters, cozy fires, good books and festive food. And weekend brunch at my favorite wineries with my favorite friends. And cats.

• Being reminded of big dreams and being encouraged to go after them.

• That Glenn is alive on “The Walking Dead.”

• A loving, compassionate family, and watching a son grow into a fine young man.

• The trees in the yard that don’t fall in a storm.

• The necessary and welcome distractions from the traffic jam of daily life: Music, books, art and other pastimes that take us away for a bit.

• Butter, bacon, coffee, wine and all those other things that are supposed to kill us, yet make life worth living anyway.

• The patient head-shaking of a spouse that says, “You’re a knucklehead, but I love you anyway.”

• That there is always next year, however lousy your team did this season.

• A clean, fresh Sunday crossword puzzle.

• That no matter where I go, home is always a car ride away

• Having a loving family who are always there when you need them.

• For every teacher, in every school, who ever taught a child to read, so that those of use dependent on words for a living aren’t writing just for ourselves.

• That I work with an amazing group of people who have reignited my love for the newspaper business.

And as always, we are thankful for you, our loyal readers. Even when you let us know we’ve gotten something wrong or can’t get your paper in the box on time, we’re grateful you care enough to help us improve as we share the experiences of life in North Georgia together. It your big hearts who keep this community thriving, and your thirst for information that makes us a part of it. We can’t do it without you.

To you and all, we at your humble local newspaper wish a blessed holiday of thankfulness.

To send a letter to the editor, use this form or send to The Times editorial board includes Publisher Charlotte Atkins, General Manager Norman Baggs and Editor Keith Albertson.

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