OPINION

Finding the real: Keep this giving thing going in Pratt

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
Editor Jennifer Stultz shares thanks for Pratt-area groups who have made donations to the community through the past year, and encourages a continued recognition of needs in the community.

While looking through Pratt Tribune issues of 2020 in search of a food bank picture the other day I was simply amazed at all the stories, and photos, published about people helping other people. 

It is true that in journalism, especially newspaper, pictures showing action are much preferred over the "line-up and say cheese" photos that come in regularly. The best pictures move a reader to feel something, and posed lineups seldom do that.

However, 2020 was a different kind of year with staff reductions, office closure and COVID-19 quarantines. Safety measures to stay away from large groups limited Pratt Tribune action pictures but the network of community action in Pratt never stopped. Donations and giving groups were well-documented in Pratt Tribune pages with masked (and still cheesy) lineups of people who raised funds for food donations, library books, coats, Hope Center help, education scholarships, business support and learning programs.

To say that 2020 caused us to isolate, withdraw, become self-centered and ignore the needs of others would be completely wrong! From the amounts of food collected and distributed, funds raised and donated and people reaching out to help other people, as documented in the pages of the Pratt Tribune in 2020, one would have to conclude it was a pretty good year.

There is no doubt that 2020 was filled with fear and uncertainty, but it was also filled with hope and help and humanity. It is likely that 2021 will come with its share of fear and uncertainty as well, but if the past year is any indication, there will also be a network of good, giving, caring people, willing to lift each other up in this community we call home.

I re-learned this past Christmas season that it is so much more fun to give than receive. For one reason or another, we had to wait until the second weekend of January to get together with some family members to give them presents that had been purchased months ago. The waiting to give was so hard, but worth it in the end. 

It is true that one of the best cures for anxiety and depression is to reach out and help someone else. And I'm sure the opportunities will continue to come for giving in 2021. Places to get involved include the Bread of Life Kitchen in Pratt, the Hope Center, the Paper Pantry, the schools, churches, the Pratt Area Humane Society, and many more.

On Monday, January 25, there is an opportunity to give blood at the Pratt Community Center from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with special emphasis on health safety and great, ongoing need with the American Red Cross organization. Other opportunitites to give are not hard to find at this time of the year, as well.

Just ask around, check on a neighbor and see what they need, if online - visit Pratt's Neighbors Helping Neighbors on Facebook. That extra bed taking up space in the basement might be just what someone else needs to help a family member; those books gathering dust in the corner might give a local book box a needed update.

Sometimes the best thing to give is just time. Make that phone call to an elderly person who may not be able to get out much. Spend time with a youngster who may be feeling anxious about the state of the world around them.

Giving is fun. It makes winter days brighter and it chases away the gloom and doom of the wider national landscape. The best part is, the Pratt Tribune continues to welcome any and all pictures of individuals and groups giving to help others. This kind of activity is the best news for our community yet, even if everyone pictured is lined up with a cheesy grin behind their mask. 

If you have a giving picture to share, please email it to me at jstultz@pratttribune.com. Let's keep this giving thing going in 2021.