Out & About

In gifting others, let us gift ourselves

Snow dancers perform during the 2016 Nutcracker of Middle Georgia. The Nutcracker is one local organization worthy of your charitable giving.
Snow dancers perform during the 2016 Nutcracker of Middle Georgia. The Nutcracker is one local organization worthy of your charitable giving. jvorhees@macon.com

Christmas Day soon will be upon us, and the national focus will go from shopping and entertainment to reflection and gratitude (at least for those over, say, age 30). All the while, mailboxes have been witnessing the arrival of letters begging us to remember our favorite organizations at this giving time of the year.

Local government can provide us with infrastructure, police and fire protection and educational institutions, but the institutions that elevate our standard of living and boost our economy depend largely on ourselves. We must look within our own hearts.

I urge you to fish out at least one of these pleas. To a large extent, the quality of life in our community is in our hands — not just the quality of our own lives and that of our children, but also the lives of those in our community who have never attended a play, a concert, a museum, a gallery, a lecture or any of the other activities that accompany life in communities that benefit from an educated populace and a reasonable standard of living.

Does this “cultural buffet” lead to a prosperous and educated community, or does such a community demand and support the good things in life?

Either way, the choice is ours. Local government can provide us with infrastructure, police and fire protection and educational institutions, but the institutions that elevate our standard of living and boost our economy depend largely on ourselves. We must look within our own hearts.

What is it that enriches the lives of our families and our neighbors?

Is it the Museum of Arts and Sciences, the Tubman Museum, the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, the Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House, the Douglass Theatre, the Macon Arts Alliance or the Grand Opera House? Or perhaps it’s the Rose Theater, Perry Players, Theatre Macon, Macon Little Theatre, Warner Robins Little Theatre or the Otis Redding Foundation. Or, maybe the Choral Society of Middle Georgia, Macon Concert Association, Warner Robins Community Concert Association, Mercer University Children’s Choir, Nutcracker of Middle Georgia, Middle Georgia Concert Band, Macon Pops, Macon Symphony Orchestra.

Yes, the midstate is blessed, but most of these organizations operate on shoestring budgets, and many of them are dominated by gray hairs. It is crucial that these organizations continue to flourish for the sake of the young members of our communities. If each of us who can afford it will make a donation to even one of these vital organizations, our future will be secure.

In this season of love, by giving our communities a gift, let us give one to ourselves.

Contact Larry Fennelly at LarryFennelly@avantguild.com.

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