Erie has a well earned reputation for generosity. Neighbors in most communities like to think of themselves as caring people, but Erie has proven time and again (and I have seen
with my own eyes) a willingness to step up, particularly in hard times.
That giving manifests itself not only in money donated, but in time spent as well.
It's a spirit most evident during the holiday season; it's moving to see people drive up to our annual Holiday Food Drive, some with bags of stuff, some with just a few cans, but each willing to give what they can.
Just this week I watched volunteers form a human chain to move frozen turkeys, mashed potatoes and cans of cranberry sauce into an outreach center to make sure families have Thanksgiving dinner.
The food comes not from a big corporation, but started with Rick Hinman and his family; a mission he embraces so fully his friends and co-workers call him "The Turkey Man."
While I was there I asked one of the volunteers about helping this time of year. He talked not only of what it means to help others but of what it means to him, that he is healthy enough to help and it's a reminder to remember to be thankful.
"A gift to yourself," I thought at the time.
We in the media are often charged with only looking at the negatives in life.
That's not completely true but true enough; they teach in journalism school that a plane landing safely usually isn't news.
We all tend to look at the struggles of the job, and the economy and the family, and rarely take the time to consider that we are given the tools to cope with the road ahead.
So maybe we should all take a moment this Thanksgiving weekend to concentrate on what we have and not on what we don't.
You can consider it a gift to yourself.