One of the blessings of Christmas and the winter holidays is the myriad opportunities to do good in this world.
Just Saturday, for example, dozens of volunteers turned out in Elk Grove Village to help the Salvation Army package more than 10,000 Christmas food boxes containing ham or turkey dinners with all the trimmings to be distributed this holiday season to people in need throughout Chicago and the suburbs.
How to donateTo make a tax-deductible donation, send checks made out to WINGS - Daily Herald Hope for the Holidays, P.O. Box 280, Arlington Heights, IL 60006-0280. The deadline is Dec. 17.
And, of course, in this space Saturday, we gave a shoutout of encouragement for a campaign led by Chicago Bears equipment manager Tony Medlin, with help from Jewel/Osco, the Salvation Army and many schools, to collect 30,000 new or gently used coats for needy families and individuals.
Those are just a two out of scores of goodwill efforts that take place in and around the suburbs this time of year, in addition to the annual end-of-the year fund drives most charities have.
All of these efforts are commendable, and, without favoritism, we encourage your participation in whatever fashion makes most sense to you and your family.
It is, after all, a season of giving.
Please allow us, in that spirit, a few words on behalf of the Daily Herald's Hope for the Holidays campaign.
As those of you who read Burt Constable's column on Thursday already know, the campaign raises money to provide gifts this holiday season for the children at WINGS, the Palatine-based agency that provides emergency shelter, temporary housing, education, employment assistance and counseling for homeless and abused women and children.
The point of it is to help brighten the holidays for kids who are going through a difficult, confusing, lonely or disruptive time in their lives.
This is the first year for the campaign, and it's one of the first drives of this sort that we've sponsored.
But it's not about us, and it wasn't, for that matter, even our idea.
It started with a phone call from a reader.
As Constable explained in Thursday's column, he answered his phone a few days before Thanksgiving and on the other end of the line was Walt Meder of Arlington Heights.
"The Daily Herald," Meder said, "should sponsor a toy drive."
And he offered to send Constable a sizable check to get the ball rolling. (He subsequently dropped one off.)
It was such a wonderful and inspiring idea, how could we say no?
If you feel the same way, send a tax-deductible check to WINGS -- Daily Herald Hope for the Holidays, P.O. Box 280, Arlington Heights, IL 60006-0280.
It is, as we said, a season of giving, and in this case all of the giving goes to help the kids.