Editorial: Operation Santa Claus gives caring | TribLIVE.com

Editorial: Operation Santa Claus gives caring

Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Volunteers from Ligonier Valley High School pack bags of food in 2018 for Operation Santa Claus at the Westmoreland County Road Department warehouse in Hempfield.

There are words for the deficits in a person’s life. If you need food, you are hungry. If you need water, you are thirsty. If you need shelter, you are homeless.

But there is a different kind of need — sometimes overlapping one or more or all of those — that doesn’t really have an easy label.

What do you call someone starving to know that another person cares?

And if you could find the word, what would you do about it?

Operation Santa Claus doesn’t look to fill stockings or check off wish lists. The nonprofit organization — a team effort of Trib Total Media, Shop ’n Save and the Salvation Army — is providing grocery bags for 5,175 local households this holiday season.

Those bags have things that fill the table, like stuffing and vegetables and cranberry sauce and meat. They have things that can brighten a kid’s day, like crayons and coloring books and storybooks.

But what you can’t see in the bag is probably the most important gift — the fact that people cared enough to fill it in the first place.

The holiday season is supposed to burn bright with caring. We are supposed to gather close to those we love and extend a hand to those we don’t know. Whether Christmas spirit or Hanukkah miracles, the holidays are meant to be about joy, peace and love.

You can help keep that caring flame aglow with a donation to Operation Santa Claus. For a $5 donation, the Tribune-Review will deliver a personalized letter from jolly old St. Nick to your own kids. For $17.25, you can provide a meal for a family of four. Donations of children’s books are welcome. If you have more time than money, you can join a packing session. Santa always needs elves. Find out how to lend a hand at osc.triblive.com.

And if you are not in a position to do any of that, just remember that it doesn’t cost a dollar to show someone that you care.

Categories: Opinion | Editorials
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