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Be generous this time of year

About a quarter of Lincoln Countians live in poverty, as defined by the federal government — a family of four has an annual income of about $26,000 or less.

Many of our neighbors are struggling to pay bills and put food on the table.

That’s why so many people here in Lincoln County are working to help the less-fortunate this time of year. Some are working to make sure all  children get gifts for Christmas.

JA’s Wish Tree program is one such effort.

JA’s trees are filled with ornaments that need to be “adopted,” said JA spokeswoman Kristina Mason. Trees are located at Broma’s Deli, C Spire, King’s Daughters Medical Center lobby and the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce. Shoppers will fill out a tear-off section of the ornament with their own contact information and drop into the Wish Tree box so JA can keep track of which children have been adopted. This year, 170 children will benefit from the service project.

A local Toys for Tots effort also hopes to provide gifts for children. 

Others are working to make sure everyone has a table full of food. Several organizations and individuals prepared Thanksgiving feasts for those in need. Businesses, churches and individuals came together to provide turkeys, pans of dressing and, most importantly, love and fellowship.

The generosity on display was a testament to the kind nature of people here.

We count on that generosity for the newspaper’s annual fundraiser with Bank of Brookhaven, the Holiday Food Pantry Drive. The drive, which kicked off this week, benefits four organizations that operate food pantries — St. Francis of Assisi/St. Vincent de Paul, St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, the Greater Hope Foundation and Bethel AME.

Your donations are split evenly between the organizations, and they use that money to provide food to those in need.

Flora Kelly, a volunteer with the Greater Hope Foundation, said the drive was a blessing for their food pantry. The Greater Hope Foundation serves more than 200 families a month.

“We look forward to it every year because it helps us meet the need for the people that reach out,” she said. “It really does.”

Donations will be accepted at both The Daily Leader and Bank of Brookhaven. Checks can be made out to Holiday Food Pantry. Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602. They’ll also be accepted at the newspaper office front desk. Donations to the Holiday Food Pantry will be published in The Daily Leader as they come in.

I hope you will consider donating. One in four Lincoln Countians are counting on you.

Email publisher Luke Horton at luke.horton@dailyleader.com.