It is traditional to make charitable gifts near the end of the year, especially in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and before the Dec. 31 deadline for tax purposes.
There is something about the spirit of the religious overtones of the season. And maybe the tax man spurs some of the generous giving.
At the root of all the donations, however, is that human element -- the emotion of the heart -- that guides most people to give and to give generously.
So many organizations strive to make Christmas merry for so many people.
The Southeast Missourian is especially thankful for the hundreds of kind and generous readers who once again remembered those who benefit from the Toybox and Christmas for the Elderly programs.
Toybox is sponsored by the Southeast Missourian and Cape Girardeau Jaycees. This program is an effort to make sure about 1,400 needy children receive gifts at Christmas. And among the children served this year were 15 who were hospitalized at Saint Francis Medical Center and Southeast Hospital.
Christmas for the Elderly fills special holiday requests for older members of the community who otherwise would have a bleak holiday.
Tracy Haggerty, coordinator for Toybox, said donations for Toybox and Christmas for the Elderly exceeded $27,000 this year. Thanks to the community's generosity, more than 7,000 toys were distributed. Haggerty said 26 senior citizens were helped through Christmas for the Elderly, along with residents of two nursing homes.
There are many other fine efforts to provide holiday cheer in our community. But Toybox and Christmas for the Elderly are the primary efforts to reach the needy in the city of Cape Girardeau.
On behalf of all those who benefit from the community's generosity: Thank you. We hope you had a merry Christmas, and here is to a blessed new year.