The holiday season this year could easily be marred by the evolving truism that we are a divided country. From border to border, political anger mounts, opinions grow more harsh, and relationships are rent by dispute. Here, in Malheur County, we can come together in ways that set aside such differences by tending to our needs at home.

We’re talking about the many nonprofits hoping to catch a few year-end donations. The Enterprise recently published a list of many of those asking for help.

Here’s what you should know about that list. Giving a donation isn’t just helping beef up the treasury of a civic group. Your kindness serves parts of Malheur County that need a hand and those in need don’t care if the gift is from a Republican, Democrat or an Independent.

Local children don’t care.

They just want a safe place to be while their parents are at work. They want to be fed and clothed. They want to learn and play.

Local homeless don’t care. 

They want a dry, warm place to sleep at night. They don’t care if the hand holding out a sandwich or a toothbrush or warm socks belongs to a Trump fan or a Trump opponent.

Local needy patients don’t care. 

They face unexpected medical bills with no ready way to pay. Their children needed care, or a grandmother or grandfather needed treatment they couldn’t afford. They got the care. To them, it doesn’t matter that a donor helping cover such costs is conservative or liberal.

Local dogs certainly don’t care.

They have been abandoned, lost or dumped. They have no idea if someone helping put food in their bowl or a kennel over their head is a person of power or a person of low means.

The wonder of charity is that the giving can feel so good. And the amount is almost beside the point. Local nonprofits would be thrilled to get any sum. Ten dollars can buy a lot when used by these thrifty, efficient outfits. Ten thousand dollars, of course, would be huge to any of our nonprofits.

As we head into the closing days of 2019, do yourself a favor and be a donor. Take the energy that might otherwise go into anger or dismay about public affairs and put it to better, more satisfying use. Our community will be so much better off if more of us came together around these causes. When it comes to giving and caring, there should be no division among us.  – LZ 

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