Throughout the year, our community section is filled with stories, photos and press releases about local groups and individuals doing things to help their fellow citizens.

This past weekend in Rockland, The Elks prepared 90 food baskets for families in need, just as they have been doing for decades. They work with the local Salvation Army and South End Grocery donates food.

This is just one example. Throughout the year and during this season we see local banks and businesses, Rotary Clubs, Area Interfaith Outreach food pantry, members of the faith community and individuals giving to their neighbors.

In addition to giving food and money for heat and other needs, these groups and citizens give us something very important — a sense of community spirit.

We hear from visitors and new arrivals to the Midcoast that the places they have come from do not have this strong sense of neighbor helping neighbor. In this way, our region lives up to the motto of Maine’s Great Seal, “Dirigo” or “I lead.”

In the Camden area, the new Rockport Public Library is also a testament to the giving spirit of numerous donors. A group of about 450 raised more than $2 million to support the new library. We look forward to a time in the near future when its opening can have the celebration it deserves.

2020 has been a long, discouraging year and we will be happy to say goodbye to it. However, it has also been a year of showing that community spirit. We saw many local individuals and groups get together to make masks and do the vital work that needed to be done. We have remained strong and more committed to each other than ever through this pandemic.

Next week, we will bring you a look back at 2020 for the end of the year edition.

This week, we wish to say from all of us at The Courier-Gazette, The Camden Herald and VillageSoup, Happy Holidays! Thank you for reading our stories. We are proud to serve a community as strong and giving as this one.

Hold close to the ones you love. Stay safe, stay healthy, wear your masks and be ready to get your vaccines!

Recognition for one of our own

The American Legion War Memorial Post No. 30 in Camden presented a certificate of appreciation to our own Susan Mustapich Dec. 3 for covering the legion in The Camden Herald.

We appreciate the American Legion for taking time to thank Susan, who has certainly worked hard to present the many accomplishments of this vital local group.

It was refreshing to see this too in a time when journalists have often been dismissed as “fake news” for cynical political purposes.

The journalists of The Camden Herald and The Courier-Gazette are not strangers. We do not cover the towns of Knox, Lincoln and Waldo counties at arm’s length. We are members of this community. Our children attend local schools and our readers run into us at the supermarket.

Thank you to Susan and congratulations on your well-deserved recognition, and thanks to The American Legion for acting as leaders and sending a positive message.