The Bible has many passages referring to helping those in need – those less fortunate than ourselves. We do this not to make ourselves feel better or for our own gratification and glorification, but to help those that really need our help. We do this to use our time, talents and monetary blessings to do for others less fortunate than ourselves.

This Christmas season,as we have done for the last eight years or so, the staff of the Bossier Press-Tribune decided to not do a “Secret Santa” or to draw names from among our staff for a gift exchange.

Instead, we collected funds from among our staff and selected a name off of the Salvation Army “Angel Tree” at Pierre Bossier Mall in order to help provide Christmas for a child from within our community.

RandyAs it’s become a tradition at the office, our staff has participated in both the Salvation Army’s “Angel Tree”  and the “Shop With A Cop” program.

An excerpt from the Salvation Army’s website homepage for their “Angel Tree” reads as follows: “Please don’t forget the young girls and boys from impoverished families in our community that will be left out of the most joyous time of year — unless we do something.”

That is why words can not properly express how thankful I am that our staff recognizes the importance of the many needs in our community and as such, our team members choose to collectively participate in these most worthy causes.

A couple of weeks ago, I was both honored and blessed to go shopping for our Angel Tree gift recipient with the assistance of Kathleen Weir, BPT director of graphic arts and beautification.

To be quite honest, I have been so busy this year that I was having a very hard time getting into the Christmas spirit. I was trying in my mind to get there, but it just wasn’t happening in my heart. Well, while we were on our shopping trip for the Angel Tree, it happened. That’s all I needed!

I have been totally transformed and in the Christmas spirit in a big way ever since that day.

For sure, we always feel most fortunate in being able to take the funds collected from our team members in order to go out shopping for such a worthy cause. Most definitely, each year that we do this, I truly consider this to be a sincere honor and pleasure. And a pleasure to which little else compares. It is also an honor to personally deliver the items we purchase to the Salvation Army’s local donation site.

As I mentioned in one of my columns from a couple of years ago regarding my thoughts as to  the true meaning of Christmas, I get my greatest joy from giving. Being able to participate in a great cause such as this at this time of year is a huge part of what Christmas is all about for me. It just reminded me there is true joy in doing for others.

I wish both you and your family a very Merry Christmas! I pray that you Aall get to spend time together this Christmas, remember the reason for the season and experience the true joy in giving and doing for others!

Randy Brown is General Manager of the BPT. He can be reached at rbrown@bossierpress.com