There’s no need to check twice: the nice list across Essex County has grown inspiringly long this Christmas! Whether in the form of grants from an ECCF fund, a festive event, or an opportunity to serve in one of many out reach efforts this season, several good folks are making sure the holidays are a little brighter for others. Here’s a sampling:
Give: ’Tis the season for grant-giving at ECCF through one of many donor-advised funds. That’s good news for deserving nonprofit organizations across the region who work year round addressing issues such as land conservation, animal rescue, or youth development. The Merrimack Valley General Fund advisory committee, for instance, recently awarded a grant to Playworks Education Energized as part of its focus on nonprofit organizations serving the Merrimack Valley's constituent communities, with a particular emphasis on projects and activities benefiting children and the arts. And Beauport Financial Services honored the good work of 21 nonprofits with grants from the Richard D. Wilson Fund at their holiday party, a Christmas story so inspiring even The Gloucester Times reported on it.
Celebrate: In addition to “giving where we live” through ECCF funds, there’s no shortage of ways to celebrate the holidays, Essex County style. From ice-skating in Lynnfield to breakfast with Santa in Danvers (which includes a Gingerbread decorating station) or a winter concert in Newburyport with The Newburyport Choral Society and orchestra, our friends at North of Boston have compiled a great list of events to celebrate the holidays across the County.
Serve: Of course, not all of our neighbors are able to enjoy the gifts of the season. Some need a helping hand. Thankfully, organizations like Beverly Bootstraps have organized month long food drives. Whether supporting their Prime Meats and Provision food drive, or through the Shaw’s Spirit of Giving Food Drive at Shaw's Supermarket (where you just need to grab a donation slip and bring it to the register when you’re shopping), Beverly Bootstraps and other folks fighting hunger are making sure tiny tots—and their families—fall asleep on full stomachs.
Certainly, the holiday season invites us all to give, celebrate and serve. May yours include the beauty of each.