Amid the various activities associated with Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other year-end holidays and celebrations, the delights of the season and the reasons for observance and commemoration extend beyond family, faith, home and business. That's why charitable agencies are blessed by the magnanimity of so many contributors at this time of year.
Like the retail world, many charitable organizations rely on the extended holiday period for the majority of their gift income. The agencies are able to do their good deeds throughout the year because of generous gifts made during in the period that extends from Thanksgiving to the New Year.
The generosity makes this season truly one of glad tidings and good will. This year, as has been the case for nearly a century now, the Chattanooga Times Free Press Neediest Cases Fund has been the beneficiary of numerous gifts and memorials. The fund supports the work of the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults, long the region's most respected and comprehensive social services agency.
The Partnership currently operates 20 programs at seven sites in Hamilton County, at sites in Bradley and Marion counties, and at several locations in Northwest Georgia and Northeast Alabama. Those programs are supported by a variety of public and private grants and appropriations, but the Neediest Cases Fund supplements those often restricted or targeted funds with a source of discretionary money for use in unusual or extraordinary circumstances.
The capacity to do a little bit more than the expected and the ordinary is the gift donors to the Neediest cases provide the Partnership. The community's generosity this year and in previous decades is amazing testimony to area's resident's desire to help those less fortunate than themselves. It is a feeling and a richness that exemplifies the meaning of the holiday season. We thank you for it.
The annual fund drive is near its close. Sometimes, though, we forget to do things we mean to do in the hustle and bustle of the holidays and the approach of a new year. For that reason, we'll probably receive more gifts to the Neediest Cases Fund in the next few days. They certainly will be appreciated. We will thankfully acknowledge gifts made through Dec. 31 in the paper's Metro & Region section.
Donations to the Neediest Cases fund can be mailed to The Chattanooga Times Free Press, P.O. Box 1447, Chattanooga, TN 37401-1447, brought to the newspaper's office at 400 E. 11th Street or made online at timesfreepress.com/neediestcases through the end of the year.