At this time of the year many of us stop to take stock of what we are thankful for in our lives. One of the many things we can all be thankful for is that we live in this beautiful part of Pennsylvania and while we are surrounded with the beauty of nature, wonderful church groups and organizations that shine with beautiful spirits of giving and volunteerism also surround us. These groups make our communities even more wonderful places in which to live by giving of their time and talents to make life better for so many in our communities.

We have highlighted some of these organizations in years past in our Community of Giving magazine in the Tri-County Sunday and our sister newspapers but we know there are many more such groups – both large and small – who are consistently reaching out to help others. We are making some changes to this annual publication and are asking you, our readers, to help us find these wonderful groups so that we may share their story and through the telling hopefully inspire others.

You may think about “Aunt Sally,” who is part of a group that quilts and donates the finished product to a homeless shelter or to abuse victims or babies in a hospital but that it’s just a few women who get together. ‘Aunt Sally’s” group would be a wonderful example of the type of groups we’re looking for.

Other examples of groups could include quilters who meet to sew baby quilts for the Neonatal Unit at Penn Highlands DuBois or a group that holds free lunches so anyone and everyone can get a meal, a group provides a Thanksgiving dinner for those who are alone for the holidays or a family that cannot afford a holiday dinner, or maybe it’s an organization whose volunteers strive to beautify their community with an abundance of flowers. There are groups that make sure our highways or trails are kept clean for all to use and some who sew caps for those undergoing chemotherapy or make teddy bears for children in the hospital.

This is just a very, very short list of the multitude of ways in which our communities are made better. We know about these wonderful people because they are our neighbors, friends and family.

So please help us to focus on all the good that is being done in our rural communities. If you know of a group of people or a local organization that is helping to make your community a better place with their efforts, please let us know. Email me at with some information about the group/organization such as where and when they meet and a possible contact person.

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