Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



One of the early tell-tale signs that the holidays are near is the appearance of the community's different giving opportunities

The holiday season has returned in Crook County.

Christmas may still be eight weeks away, and there is even still a pretty good chunk of time between now and Thanksgiving, but around here, one of the early tell-tale signs that the holidays are near is the appearance of the community's different giving opportunities. Perhaps you have seen that the Holiday Partnership, which provides food boxes and Christmas gifts to families in need, has begun collecting food donations. Meanwhile, a less visible Operation Christmas Child effort, which fills shoeboxes with essential goods for impoverished people overseas, has already begun.

This is just the beginning. Pretty soon, Christmas in the Pines, a drive-thru holiday lights display, will resume at the Crook County Fairgrounds. Organizers will be accepting canned food and monetary donations throughout the event to help people in need. The Shop with a Cop program returns this season, providing children an opportunity to hit the stores with a member of local law enforcement to purchase Christmas gifts for their loved ones. And perhaps the largest event of all – at least in terms of money raised – is the annual Hospice Christmas Auction, which raises around $100,000 each year for St. Charles Hospice.

In a nutshell, this is time for the Prineville and Crook County community, which has continually demonstrated its incredible benevolence, to once again shine. Giving options are plentiful during this time of year, whether you are talking about the organized events just mentioned or a multitude of others that may benefit only a few.

So, while we may roll our eyes when we walk into the stores and see the Christmas explosion in the aisles mere days after Halloween, recognize that the holiday season means more than that in this community. Yes, it will always be cherished as a special time to spend with friends and family where gifts and laughter are exchanged, but around here, it is a time of unprecedented giving – a time where the community embraces the "season of giving."

If you want to help out people who are struggling, if you want to take advantage of the charitable options this community has, there is really no better time than the next couple of months. Sure, November has just barely begun, and Christmas is more than 50 days away, but the giving opportunities in Prineville and Crook County are worth the early start to the holiday season.

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