Several stories in the paper this week feature services that help those less fortunate.
In one case, a homeless shelter has closed, an organization is losing funding intended to help with home heating costs and still another speaks of the hundreds in the area who will lose unemployment benefits should the country fall off the “fiscal cliff.”
In addition, we'd like to take the opportunity to also point out another story, about Camden's Terry “Pepe” Voisine, who recently died. He spent uncounted hours helping other people and asking nothing in return, despite his own personal situation. Some in his shoes may have chosen a different lifestyle, but by all accounts Voisine was an example of a human being willing to lend a hand, or ear, to anyone. Some, he knew couldn't pay but he helped anyway, often bartering his services in trade for food or warmth.
We'd also like to point out the community became more like a family in Voisine's case. With increasing technology, people are more likely these days to sit next to each other talking on a cell phone than face-to-face. The holidays are a time to spend with family and friends, catching up on missed life events, sharing good food and laughter. Those without family are often welcomed as warmly by friends.
It seems more and more each year, the commercialization of holidays has increased and the emphasis on family, friends and community has decreased. Shopping days have crept up to Thanksgiving and holiday decorations start appearing in stores as early as Halloween. The rush to have more stuff and do more stuff becomes a race no one can win.
With the economy making an agonizingly slow recovery, it seems more people could take the opportunity to spend some time volunteering and helping others to the benefit of themselves and a greater cause. While many people might be taking a second or third job to make up for decreased wages, others find themselves with more free time due to unemployment or slashed hours — why not spend some of that time volunteering doing something you like? It's a win-win; you are happy to spend time doing something you like and the organization you choose to help has another pair of hands. Time otherwise spent vegging out on the couch, surfing the Internet or worrying is transformed to productive hours.
We encourage everyone this holiday season to be part of the greater good.
Get well soon Francina
We received word Dec. 3 that Hope town columnist Francina Pearse had been hospitalized following a minor stroke. Francina has been writing Hope town news for the Herald for several decades.
Francina always takes the time for well wishes to those who have fallen ill, or lost loved ones, in her column and we'd like to return the favor by sending good thoughts and well wishes her way.
We're happy to report that she plans to move into Windward Gardens after a few days in the hospital and she is hoping to be back writing town news soon. We know she'd love cards from readers — they can be sent to Windward Gardens,105 Mechanic St., Camden, ME 04843 or Camden Herald, 5 Bay View Landing, Camden, ME 04843.