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The giving season

It's still a little shocking to feel the weight of Margaret Sharpe's list.

I asked her to send me some of the kids she knew would need help during the holidays. They were names I could add to The Mirror's Angel Tree and hopefully bring a little cheer to their lives.

The list she brought was nine pages, including more than 180 names of needy children in our community.

I told her I wasn't sure if we could fulfill each wish.

"That's OK," she said. "Just one or two is more than they'll have now."

But what do these kids want?, I asked. Bikes? Clothes? Toys?

"They'll take anything," she said. "Anything will make them happy."

And that's what it is all about.

The Agape list joins lists from the local elementary schools, the Boys and Girls Club, DFCS and others.

Together, it creates a tall order for our community -- dozens of youngsters' names on a tree, waiting to be adopted. But I know we can meet most -- if not all -- of their wishes.

The process is simple: stop by, choose your angel, pick up a few gifts and fill your heart with a child's smile.

And don't forget about Blake's Fun for Florida drive. The Thomson boy is collecting toys for kids affected by this year's hurricanes.

You can drop toys off at The Mirror or call his mom, Dana Allen, at 829-0915 to make other arrangements.

It was great to hear some good news this week about Brandon Norman. A year ago -- as a Briarwood senior -- Brandon was battling cancer. Now, he's a student at Augusta Tech, and he has the class ring he lost at St. Simons a couple of years ago back on his finger. This should be a Thanksgiving like no other for the Norman clan.

Friday night's gala opening of Hickory Hill was one of those "wow" moments for me and my wife. Miriam had never been in the "big house" and walked starry-eyed around the mansion. She teared up as she remembered a picture of her mom, standing and smiling in front of the big fountain in front of the house.

I was amazed by the progress of the house, especially Sen. Watson's study. I was up there just about a year ago with Tad Brown during a tour of the house and an inside look at the renovations. The study was a dusty collection of books, documents and memorabilia -- a place that looked like it had truly not been touched since its owner passed away decades before.

The "new" Hickory Hill is as stunning inside as it is outside -- and the daily museum tours are sure to fulfill many local curiosities.

Meanwhile, have a happy Thanksgiving. Don't eat too much. Spend some time with your family. Then take a little time to help someone else -- that'll lead to a more fulfilling day than anything.



Web posted on Wednesday, November 24, 2004


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