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Generous hearts spreading kindness

| December 9, 2020 1:00 AM

The residents of the Highlands community in Post Falls held their semi-annual golf cart parade and collected 1,391 pounds of food and $1,865 in cash for the Post Falls Food Bank. That's a 37% increase over 2019 food donations and 70% over last year's cash donations from the neighborhood.

In a year when so many in our communities are struggling to get by, this generous gesture of goodwill to all is inspirational and heartwarming.

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Small business owner Sarah Gondo has a retro camper trailer decorated for the season outside her gift shop, Barn 31 on Seltice Way. The hay bales provide seating so people can take photos in front of the trailer, a complimentary treat. When Sarah noticed family groups with one family member taking photos and not able to be in the photograph she did something that is above and beyond for customer service. She bought a tripod for people to use with their cellphones so no one is left out of group photos. I bet Santa made note of your kindness Sarah!

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This time of year we all wish, or pretend, that life resembles a Hallmark holiday movie. But alas, life is seldom tied so neatly in a pretty happy ending bow. The holidays do bring out the best in people … generous hearts, helping hands and wishing strangers Merry Christmas. Christmas songs on the radio and houses decorated in twinkling lights also bring a smile.

What I wish is that we could and would remember this feeling of good will toward our fellow man and practice kindness in March and June and September, every day of every month.

An often copied quote, “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind,” is so very true. This time of year can be exceptionally challenging for so many for hundreds of reasons and in 2020 it's been magnified.

The best gift you can give is a smile to a stranger and extending a bit of grace to those who might need a little touch of Christmas hope. Be kind. Always.

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It’s just not Christmas without multiple viewings of "It’s a Wonderful Life." I’ve watched it since I was a little girl and never fail to be brought to tears by Harry Bailey’s toast, “to my big brother George, the richest man in town!” So many wonderful messages and quotes in the movie … “what is it you want, Mary? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down,” “every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings,” “no man is a failure who has friends.”

Trivia: there’s a sign on the wall of George Bailey’s office at the Building and Loan that reads, “All that you can take with you is that which you’ve given away.”

‘Tis the season.

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“When it seems that we have lost our way … we find ourselves again on Christmas Day. If you just believe.”

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Happy birthday today to Tammie Peacock, Cecilia Fehling, Brandon Quigley, Cheri Banta, Melissa Williams and Cindy Jarnagin. Tomorrow Dick Wandrocke, Shannon Clark, Richard Carlson, Bert Bachelder, Matthew Lemieux, Jack Jordan, Gavin Broadwater and Donna Cushman put on their party hats. Friday birthdays belong to Christina Petit, Kathy Hughes, Duncan Menzies, Stephanie Hunter, Michael Matt, Katrina Mayer, Kym Hamby, Shawn Gunn, Leigh Sales and Aleta English. On the 12th day of the 12th month Margot Mitchell, Alexis Davis, Sialas Tripp, Mary Sanderson, Amy Alderman, John Austin, Mary Finley, Teresa Capone, Mark Orlowski, Konrad Hochhalter, Monte Miller, Richard Stevenette, Colleen Williams (60!), Dave Sayers, Lynn Knapp and Jessica White blow out the candles. Catherine Jacobson, Jim Freeman, Austin Lee, Kim Buer and Denise Higgs take another trip around the sun on Sunday. Eve Knudtsen, Kyle Siegert, Angie Hatch, Jeannette Conroy, Sybil McCormack, Sandy Clemons, Amber Briles, John Medlock, Vicki Peoples, Karen Kastning, Tammy VanBrunt and James Forster enjoy a frosty Monday birthday. On Dec. 15, Nellie Armstrong, Kerri Wilfong, Susan Schneidmiller, Cat Troy, Jann Kinnard, Brenda Young, Janelle Stimson, Anne Marie Toothaker, Travis Gardner and Austin Wuest blow out the candles.

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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.