Warm your heart during these cold days

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Oh, the weather outside is frightful.

A fire would be delightful.

But, the gloomy weather does indicate my favorite time of the year is right around the corner. It's time for the annual Holiday Family Adoption kick-off.

On today's front page, you see the first set of families in need of "adoption" this holiday season.

It's a Christmas tradition we wouldn't dream of going without - our big community hug to those in need this time of the year.

The Holiday Family Adoption program is an opportunity for us to share what we have with those in need. It's easy to lend a hand and, if you just can't seem to stop shopping for Christmas presents, like me, it's a lot of fun.

We work in tandem with great community organizations: Upper Des Moines Opportunity, the Clay County Fair, our super supporters at UPS and the Spencer Fire Department, and Rotary members who also help out in delivering gifts to out-of-towners. We've had help from the members of the Clay County 4-H Youth Council and the Clay Central-Everly FFA as well.

It takes more than a village to run this project - it takes a county! My staff at the Daily Reporter also pitch in wholeheartedly to help make the effort go so well.

So, now you know most of the players in this project, but we're still missing a very important piece of the pie - YOU!

We will be listing the Christmas needs of between 75-85 families in the Daily Reporter over the coming weeks. Simply pick a family, give us a call at the Daily Reporter, 262-6610, to "adopt" that family, and then begin purchasing items from those wish lists. Wrap the gifts. We ask that you write the family number, and which person in the family the gift is for on a tag attached to each package.

Then box the gifts up and drop them off during one of two drop-off days - Saturday, Dec. 7 or Saturday, Dec. 14, from 8:30 a.m. To noon - at The Depot at the Clay County Fairgrounds. All gifts must be dropped off by noon on Dec. 14. The Spencer Fire Department and UPS will be delivering the gifts on Sunday, Dec. 15 in Spencer. Rotary members and other volunteers deliver the gifts to rural residents and those in surrounding communities that day as well.

If you would like to support the program, but don't have the time or inclination to shop, we can always use cash donations. These funds are used to buy the gifts for families who aren't "adopted."

Checks can be sent to The Daily Reporter, PO Box 197, Spencer, IA 51301.

Kick-start your holiday spirit with this wonderful program, which has aided thousands of families through the years. The warm feeling in your heart is your gift to yourself for helping someone less fortunate.

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If you missed out on the Spencer High School production of "Beauty and the Beast" this past weekend, well you missed out on another heart-warming event. I'm always blown away by the talent our community possesses. We should be so proud of those youth, and thankful to the educators who mold that talent into such wonderful productions!

Director Larry Untiet and Musical Director Katie Kardell have set the bar so high, in terms of the quality of shows SHS puts on. You know a ticket to an SHS show is a guarantee of a wonderful evening (or afternoon) of entertainment. Once again, that faith was rewarded.

Kudos to the youth, who dedicated countless hours to rehearsals. That effort showed on stage.

The community responded, with huge crowds for all three evening and two afternoon performances.

The show was heart-warming, and that support even more so.

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