Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Charity at Christmas is especially important

Christmas is a wonderful time of year. It's a time to be with family and enjoy good food, experiences and company. But there are some who do not have such good fortune. They barely have enough to get through daily life, much less Christmas, and, in this festive time, those who are in want feel that need more keenly than usual. That is why we are happy to be reminded every year of the wonderful generosity and love seen during the Christmas season every year.

There were many examples of generosity and caring this year. In Cuero, 7-year-old Gabbie Roznosky raised money to buy toys for the Cuero Blue Santa program. Gabbie's family began teaching her the value of charitable giving when she was only 5 years old. We are pleased to see a family that puts so much emphasis on caring for others.

In Victoria, H-E-B held the 22nd annual Feast of Sharing at the Victoria Community Center. Every year, the Texas company puts together a free feast for members of the community to enjoy during the Christmas season. This year, the feast featured glazed ham, mashed potatoes, vegetable medley, plenty of gravy, pies, dinner rolls and soft drinks. This year, the event served about 3,800 plates, which is less than previous years. We hope that is a good sign that more people are doing well, but no matter how many take advantage of the free feast, we are thankful that H-E-B offers such widely available assistance to our community during this time.

One of the most heartbreaking, yet touching stories from this season is the story of the Lane family. Samuel Lane Jr., the father of the family, is suffering from congestive heart failure and his doctors estimate he only has a few months to live. When we first told their story, the family was in a crisis. Lane's daughters, Maekayla, 14; Marlanea, 13; Leslie, 12 and Monica, 10, decided to give up their Christmas presents to help their family pay for their father's funeral expenses. They also wrote a poem asking the community for support. The response was overwhelming. Not only did the community response pay for the funeral, but also the family received several Christmas trees, enough food to fill an extra freezer and enough money to pay several months of rent.

We were touched by the love this family shares, from the daughters willing to give up the one time of year most children look forward to, to the mother, Maria Lane, who chose to leave her job to spend as much time with her husband as possible in his final days. These were difficult decisions, but this family chose to band together and push through. But the best part of this story was the incredible commitment from the community to help provide for this family and give them their last Christmas together, making it a time of joy rather than a time of want and sorrow.

We know these are only a few of the wonderful examples of generosity and love shared in the Crossroads this Christmas. So we applaud everyone who has given to a good cause during this season, whether it's dropping some change into a Salvation Army kettle to helping build a house or giving a needy family Christmas dinner. We are proud of the spirit of love and caring shown in the Crossroads. Merry Christmas, everyone. May it be full of warmth and love.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.