On a recent Saturday, I witnessed a little-known holiday tradition: the employees of Sea Mar Community Health Center put on a huge, traditional Christmas feast and celebration for the low-income families who are patients there.
The entire project is financed through donations of time and money, and all of the local clinics stage their own celebrations.
As I understand it, these patients are some of the lowest of the low-income people in Thurston County.
Many wouldn’t otherwise be able to have traditional Christmas dinner (some would have no dinner at all), much less give presents to their children. But through the generosity of so many benefactors, happy children of all ages and races sat on Santa’s lap, got two donated presents each (including skateboards), and ate a truly home-cooked Christmas dinner along with their equally happy parents.
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And thanks to Capital High School, the huge meal was cooked and served on site, and included turkey, ham and all the fixings. Five hundred people were expected.
Selfless acts of kindness are an essential element of our collective humanity, and not just during the holiday season.
I feel intense gratitude, not for what I have, but for who we are.