Thank you to the selfless, for they make us better

It’s the most wonderful time of year!

That’s been evident to our staff as we’ve covered numerous Christmas events around the county the past two weekends. Children’s eyes have lit up with excitement as “snow” fell from machines to create an atmosphere Barnwell Countians don’t see very often. The Christmas carols, tree lightings, festive floats in parades and other activities have brought so much joy.

Many people look forward to receiving gifts, but Christmas is truly about giving. As the old saying goes: “It’s better to give than to receive.”

The visiting AmeriCorps team of 10 young people exemplifies that very meaning.

They are giving up 10 months of their lives to help their country, including three weeks in Barnwell County. They are performing a variety of community service projects while also learning about our community and meeting residents.

We are very grateful to these young people for their assistance in bettering Barnwell County. They are shining examples of selflessness, humility and compassion.

If you see them around the community between now and Dec. 15, please take a moment to thank them.

While we appreciate the efforts of this group, we also want to encourage residents to figure out what they can do to make the community better. Donating a toy to Toys for Tots (denmark-sc.toysfortots.org) or filling a shoe box with goodies for senior citizens through Generations Unlimited’s Santa’s Senior Shoe Box Project (803-541-1249) are two opportunities to make a big impact on our community without spending a lot of money. Deadlines for these programs are coming up soon.

With Christmas on the way, let’s keep the spirit of the season alive all year.

Speaking of giving, public officials also give of their time as they handle policy-making, budgets, personnel decisions and other important decisions.

These are important but oftentimes thankless jobs.

As journalists, we don’t always agree with them or their decisions, but we realize the importance of what they do and respect their dedication to trying to make Barnwell County a better place to live, work and raise a family.

One prime example of public service is Ben Duncan. He was the first African-American to be elected to city council. He is retiring from Barnwell City Council after serving his city and constituents for 22 years.

Thank you for your service!