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For nearly three decades, the Galax Y's Men Club has undertaken a project that helps hundreds of local families have a brighter Christmas.
Through the annual Community Christmas Chest fundraiser, the Y's Men work hard to solicit funds from the community to pay for food boxes delivered to needy families at Christmas.
It's truly a case of neighbors helping neighbors, as the majority of funds come from individuals. Businesses, churches, schools and civic organizations also chip in to help the Christmas Chest reach its goal.
This year, the Y's Men are trying to raise $25,000, enough to feed 450 families. That's fewer families than last year, but certainly not because there are fewer in need.
The club set a lower and more realistic goal in this economic climate, with local unemployment between 10.3 and 11.3 percent. The sad irony is that there more people in need of help, but fewer able to help them.
The Y's Men hope to focus on those experiencing the most desperate need, and we as a community must step up and make sure those needs are met. We can't rely on someone with deeper pockets this year, because many of those seemingly more well-off individuals are finding only loose change and lint.
Along with those who donate, another group is a vital link in this charitable chain — the volunteers who stay late to pack the boxes and get up early to deliver them.
It's rewarding work to show up at a family's door with a box of Christmas cheer, and it makes the holiday even more meaningful for those of us who get lost in the rush of consumerism.
Every donation, no matter how seemingly small, is appreciated. It all adds up.
Congratulations to the Y's Men for taking care of their fellow man, and to the community that supports their noble cause.