Happy New Year

New Year’s Day always brings with it a sense of anticipation and optimism — regardless of how tough the previous year may have been.

It’s sort of an artificial but effective dividing line – making us feel that whatever hardships we may have endured in the year prior, there’s reason to press forward with hope and renewed energy.

For many, 2010 was very challenging year as people still struggled with the financial implications of the global recession.

Many local organizations, such as the Red Deer Christmas Bureau, the United Way, and the Red Deer College Food Bank – just to name a few — struggled with keep up with increased demand.

The need at City soup kitchen Loaves and Fishes also shot up with officials scrambling to help more families in need. At one point, there were fears about the future of the ministry because of continued rising demands and unstable support.

On the bright side, the community banded together to help ease the crunch for many of these organizations. The Red Deer Christmas Bureau, after sending out an urgent plea for more donations of toys, ended up with enough to make sure local families would be taken care of. They even have a supply going into 2011.

The final weeks of the United Way’s campaign also showed promise as people stepped up to support the cause and helped close the fundraising gap.

So here in Red Deer, we have much to be thankful for.

Whenever there is some sort of crisis, you can always count on the generosity of Red Deerians to help ease the pain. Time and again, we in the media hear about how helpful and sensitive local citizens are to others in need.

And while no one is advocating we develop a kind of tunnel vision and ignore global calamities both financial and otherwise, knowing that we have a community that consistently steps up to help does offer a kind of tonic for frazzled nerves in today’s constantly changing world.

And speaking of New Year’s, there’s the resolutions to consider as well. They typically are about personal goals, but perhaps we should look outward and continue to make our community a better place.

An example of a superb resolution would be to support a local family next Christmas, volunteer at Loaves and Fishes or the Red Deer Food Bank, or help with the Salvation Army’s Kettle campaign next season.

These are just few ways to make a real difference in someone’s life while enriching your own.

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