Sharing gives good feeling that just can't be bought

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat,

Please put a penny in the old man's hat.

If you haven't got a penny then a ha'penny will do.

If you haven't got a ha'penny then God bless you.

Where would you put 40,000 cans of soup?

We're hoping that all of our readers have an extra can of soup in the pantry. If each one donated that can to the food bank, it would overwhelm the system.

We're guessing most of our readers have many more resources than that available to them. Imagine if only 10 percent of our readers donated one bag of groceries, it would make a huge dent in relieving the need.

If you've been blessed with much, there's much you can give. If you've been blessed with less, there is probably still something you can give.

Perhaps we can take a page from the kids at Virgie Robinson Elementary School in Pasco. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, they delivered 3,000 pounds of food to the Tri-Cities Food Bank.

The school serves a largely economically disadvantaged population, and many of the children's families don't have a lot to spare, but when everyone gives a little, it adds up.

Those without money or food to donate can give their time.

"Anytime is an opportune time (for a food drive)," Kathye Kilgore, Second Harvest director, told the Herald. "But the community tends to be more generous during the holidays."

Perhaps that's because:

* Those who celebrate Christmas are probably thinking of Christ's admonition to feed the hungry and care for the destitute.

* Those who are fed up with materialism and excess might be ready for a break from what pretty quickly imitates chaos.

* Anyone whose kids have a case of the "gimmes" would clearly benefit from not only dropping off a jar or two of peanut butter for someone in need, but also maybe spending a couple of hours volunteering.

* It's just plain cold outside.

Even though the Tri-Cities has weathered the economic downturn better than most communities, we still have an increased number of people living close to the edge.

Layoffs have visited our community. Many of those with jobs are dealing with furloughs or having their hours cut. Some companies have downsized or even closed their doors.

Most likely, in the past year someone you know has lost his or her job.

All this combines to mean more people are depending on your help.

Lots of causes are vying for your spare change this time of year. Feel free to give a sack of groceries to the food bank and put a handful of change into the Salvation Army's kettle. Giving to one cause doesn't preclude you from donating to others.

Borrowed from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol: "We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices."