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Tragedy's aftermath: Value of 'helpers'

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Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, 8:53 p.m.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Luke 2:14

In the aftermath of the horrific massacre in Newtown, Conn., some remarked on the additional pain of it happening during Advent.

The celebration of Christmas on Tuesday might expand the awfulness for many touched by this terrible incident — as if anyone could be detached from it.

Yet the holiday may make poignant what is tragic.

The late Fred Rogers said: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”

Let us make it part of our Christmas gift to one another to always be willing to be one of those helpers.

We have a tradition of being helpers. For instance, as the world was focused on the evolving news of the school shooting, local musicians were preparing for a benefit Christmas concert at Kittanning High School to aid a family with health problems. And consider the work of local civic and fraternal organizations, the marvelous Relay for Life organizations, the work of HAVIN, ARC Manor and professional educators and counselors who go beyond the call of duty.

We can be regular helpers in our families, our neighborhoods or our towns, bringing as many people into the circle of caring as possible — maybe even someone who might otherwise express anger in horrible ways. Helping can be heavy lifting, but made easier by loving hearts.

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