By editorial board • 

Humanity is our business as we spend our resource

Remember what Marley’s ghost said when his former partner Ebenezer Scrooge told him he was a good man of business.

“Business!” he cried. “Mankind was my business! The common welfare was my business! Charity, mercy, forbearance and benevolence were all my business! The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

Marley was right, of course. However, even 176 years after Charles Dickens wrote “A Christmas Carol,” not everyone appears to heed Marley’s words.

Our community is one blessed with many who would put themselves before others. However, there remain many Scrooges — the self-absorbed and privileged who look down their noses at the poor and ask are there no prisons, are there no workhouses.

At this special time of year, be of generous heart, lest ye be visited by three spirits. The last one will appear after the stroke of midnight Jan. 1. Fear him most of all. For he comes from ... the IRS!

You have until his dread appearance to make end-of-the-year donations that can be counted on your taxes. Besides, at this festive season of the year, it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute who suffer greatly at the present time.

Fortunately, there are many places locally where you can share your wealth and generosity.

The Yamhill County Gospel Rescue Mission, Soup Kitchen at St. Barnabas, Lutheran Community Services and Yamhill Community Action Partnership are on the front lines of helping underprivileged people in our area. Numerous local churches are also involved in this good work.

You can do more than donate money for tax deductions. Consider dropping off used items at agencies such as Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul and the McMinnville Area Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

There are so many places to donate. Juliette’s House confronts the scourge of child abuse while Henderson House provides people with safe haven from domestic and sexual violence. The McMinnville Free Clinic and Virginia Garcia Clinic both supply medical care to people who might not otherwise be able to afford it.

Then there is Yamhill County Cultural Coalition’s year-end campaign. Part of the Oregon Cultural Trust, the program enables people to donate to multiple arts and culture organizations with one payment. From concert series to educational programs to community centers, these cultural partners enrich the lives of rich and poor alike.

For more information and ideas, check out the News-Register’s Season of Giving special publication inserted in last week’s print issue.

Of course, whether we get tax refunds or not, we all see our beneficence return to us in countless ways.

Is that not what Jacob Marley tried to tell Scrooge and, by extension, all of us? Indeed, it is what the child whose birth we are celebrating tried to tell us some 2,000 years ago?

Putting aside the Dickens and evoking another seasonal classic, that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.


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