Christmas Message

GIVING receives a lot of attention during this season of the year, and one viewpoint on this subject was expressed by poet/author Kahil Gibran, who once noted, “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”

Many individuals, churches, organizations, schools, businesses and others are involved in giving of this type to others needing assistance in Eastern Ohio.

It would be difficult to enumerate all the assistance being given, but one major project is the St. Clairsville Council of Churches Food Pantry Christmas Project.

More than 560 persons, including 198 children, were aided by this project.

Not only are the donations growing, such as the toys contributed to the Fraternal Order of Police Associates, Lodge No. 13, for the project, but the number of businesses involved has increased.

Very popular with young recipients are the wooden toys crafted by Belmont Correctional Institution inmates, and Nancy Gillogly, one of the two coordinators for the project, said that “all of the inmates are filled with a lot of love, pride and satisfaction as they make these gifts for children.”

The project’s goal is to assist those needing help, but it also develops an appreciation of sharing with others among some middle and grade school youngsters. One boy pointed out the project is “fun, because we get to help others.”

Gillogly mentioned how 15 fourth graders with their teacher and four adult chaperones packed 115 boxes and 110 bags of food in just two hours.

Precious items also are received for the project. One woman gave her lifetime collection of dolls for distribution, and afghans painstakingly made by individuals were among the gifts.

THE PROJECT isn’t limited to tangible items. There is also a Christmas message, and this year, it was based on John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Music filled the air not only in church but in the Food Pantry itself.

CHRISTINA Rossetti years ago wrote a poem, “Love Came Down at Christmas,” and it developed into a hymn.

Thankfully, the Love that came down at that first Christmas stirs people to action.