Editorial: Efforts of Parkites make for a truly happy holiday season
December 23, 2017
It hasn't been hard to feel the holiday spirit this year in Park City. All Parkites have to do is look around and pay attention.
The community lived up to its Christmastime tradition of spreading joy by helping others. As always, it was a sight to see.
One of the best-known year-end philanthropic events is the Christian Center of Park City's Operation Hope, which provides Christmas presents for more than 1,000 children whose families aren't in a position to buy gifts this year. An annual event, Operation Hope rallied support from several sources in the community to make sure the holidays were happy, including St. Mary's Catholic Church, the Santa Pub Crawl and countless ordinary Parkites who played Kris Kringle by donating gifts or money.
Operation Hope, however, was far from the only effort to make this time of year special for others. Classes in several Park City schools participated in smaller drives to provide people in need with gifts and necessary items like socks and winter coats. Weilenmann School of Discovery even sponsored an entire school — Rose Park Elementary in Salt Lake City — after a donor for its holiday gift push pulled out at the last minute.
Regular community members also orchestrated initiatives, like Park City High School student Ben Agnew, who has worked with the Christian Center to deliver hundreds of meals to needy families, and Kamas resident Megan Betty Morin, who spearheaded a push to stuff stockings for homeless youth in Salt Lake City to name just a few.
Then there are the countless individuals who pitched in to make all of those efforts possible through donations of time, money, goods or services. There was no shortage of people who understand that giving to others is what imbues this time of year with special meaning, whether someone celebrates Christmas, Hanukkah, something else or nothing at all.
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The contributions make our community a better place, and watching it happen throughout the month has been enough to warm even the coldest December day.
But the need in Park City won't end when we take down stockings from our mantles and throw out our Christmas trees. The Christian Center, for example, will continue its mission just the same on Jan. 2 because there are people who need its help year-round.
The wonderful thing about our community's giving spirit, though, is that it can persist past the holidays, too. As much as Parkites have impressed us this December, we know they're gearing up for more of the same in 2018 — and that makes for a truly happy holiday season.