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  • Jered Stewart

The Gift of Giving

“Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat

Please [do] put a penny in the old man's hat

If you haven't got a penny, [then] a ha'penny will do

If you haven't got a ha'penny, [then] God bless you!”


I’m sure we’ve all heard these lyrics before, and as you read them you probably sung the tune that goes with them. Instead of asking to put pennies in old men’s hats we now ask to enter your credit card information online, or to insert your card with chip in the slot, or send me a Venmo. Many things have changed over time, but one thing has remained the same, there are still many people in need.


Bethany was created by well-intentioned and good-hearted people who wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. We all know that good intentions don’t always materialize, but this group started something that has now grown to 572 homes for seniors (with 48 more on the way), and plenty of social, cultural, educational, spiritual, religious, and recreational programs and opportunities.


The purposes for which the corporation is formed are as follows:


“To plan, construct, own and operate facilities and resources necessary to provide social, cultural, educational, spiritual and religious and recreational programs and opportunities,

for senior citizens in the community.”


I’m proud to be a part of a community that has maintained its purpose for 58 years and counting. A lot has changed over time, and I wonder if that initial group who started this whole thing ever envisioned what it would become. It’s a great reminder that a lot can be done if you care enough to do something about it.


As this year draws to a close, I hope you all have a chance to celebrate the season with friends and family. And I hope that you may consider giving to a person, an organization, or a cause that needs your help. There are still plenty of men (and women) that could use a penny, a ha’penny, a cup of coffee, a jelly donut, or just your time. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.


“For it is in giving that we receive.”

-Francis of Assisi



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