Letter from Putnam County Rotary: Happy Holidays

Keyboard - letter to the editor

Hello Putnam County Record Readers,

Can you believe the holiday season is here and the year is almost over? Soon, school will be out, Holiday tournaments will be in full swing for our athletes, the traveling to see family will begin, shopping, cooking, baking; so much to do. Things can sure get pretty hectic this time of the year.

But how many aren’t able to do those things? Seniors who no longer drive, shut-ins who are alone, gas is so expensive, people out of work and of course the worry about getting sick. Putnam County is very lucky to have so many giving hearts.

Our churches have giving trees, businesses do toy drives, neighbors watch out for their elderly neighbors, our schools and Interact Clubs take part in food, toy and clothing drives for those less fortunate. How lucky are we to live here?

We have a food pantry with shelves stocked that has some of the most giving volunteers anywhere and Rotary continues to support Toys In The Pantry led by Cathy Oliveri and the hard-working volunteers who help make Christmas special for so many families.

As a rotarian, I am proud that “Toys” was a Rotary project for years and that community donations will continue to be sent in by the generous businesses, churches and residents of our small county. Thank you for all you do.

The “Little Free Pantry” located at the Putnam County Community Center in Standard is a Rotary project that continues to help feed people in need by providing a day’s needs in a pinch, perhaps between monthly grocery pickup from the PC Food Pantry. (Think of us as the “mini food pantry”).

I have to thank everyone who donates money and/or food to help keep this project going. The PC Food Pantry is an amazing partner that I can’t thank enough for their continued support.

Getting back to the holiday season, I was recently asked what my favorite holiday memory is. Well, it was a gift I was given when I was 12 years old. I was that kid who wasn’t above, shaking, untapping, and any other means to see what I was getting. I know, what a brat.

But that Christmas there was a very heavy, double wrapped, packing tape, sealed gift with my name on it. I was all set to open it first thing Christmas morning, only to have my dad guarding it and saying it would be the last present opened. Off course my brother was saying it was coal and bricks so don’t get too excited.

When I was finally able to open it, I ripped that paper off, opened the box and inside were 24 bottles of ketchup, my favorite. I still remember that gift more than any other.

My favorite holiday story comes from a Jewish friend who told me her most memorable and favorite gift ever was given to her when she was seven years old. Her grandmother, who was a Holocaust survivor, gave her a small silver Menorah. It was better than any gift she was given.

So my question to all of you, during the holidays, what is your favorite memory? Favorite gift? Favorite tradition? Maybe this year share it with your family, write it down or just smile and remember.

This year PC Rotary’s Christmas project is for our members to donate food to fill the Rotary Little Free Pantry and we are asking them to also donate hats, gloves and socks for children and adults that will also be available at the Little Free Pantry.

If anyone would like to help us with this project, you can contact any Rotarian to arrange a pickup of your donation.

From me and everyone in Putnam County Rotary, no matter how, where, or when you celebrate, have a blessed holiday and a very Happy New Year.

From all of us at Rotary, thank you for your support of all our projects throughout the year. Think about joining us in the new year. Be looking for our Soup for Seniors grant project in 2023.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Blessed Holidays and as always, service above self.

Debbie Buffington, President of Putnam County Rotary