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The Crook County community features a lot of opportunities to give to those who are less fortunate

It is better to give than to receive. For most of us growing up, this familiar phrase was drilled into our memory bank either by adult authority figures or by countless holiday stories and movies.

While that often-uttered nugget of wisdom is impossible to prove one way or the other and is subject to the opinion of the person hearing it, what cannot be disputed in Crook County during this Christmas season or any other in recent memory is that this community does not lack for giving opportunities.

If there is one thing that people in Crook County have proven time and time again, it's that we are a community with an incredibly benevolent spirit seemingly year-round. As a newspaper staff we often draw attention to the various fundraisers that locals band together to promote and in many cases, they bring in five and even six-figure dollar totals. When you stop and consider that the county is comprised of just 21,000 people, and is frequently highlighted as a community of high unemployment and low per-capita income, this is truly impressive.

Perhaps you have seen this and marveled at it and wondered if there is a way to get involved and help out fellow community members. If so, there may be no better time than the present to open up your checkbook or volunteer your time.

While some opportunities have recently passed – Operation Christmas Child is done with its shoebox drive for needy kids overseas, and the Hospice Christmas Auction took place this past weekend – there are still plenty of ways to step up and make Christmas merrier for an individual or family who could really use some help.

The most widely known of these is the Holiday Partnership which kicked off with a fundraiser on Monday evening. This volunteer-driven annual event pulls multiple local organizations together each December to raise money and collect food and toys and more for children and families who are struggling financially and might otherwise experience this Christmas as just another day in the month of December.

People can donate money and food, purchase gifts for children or even bring down an old bicycle or some toiletries.

But Holiday Partnership isn't the only way to give back in Crook County. Prineville is home to several locations where people can donate food, and opportunities to make monetary donations abound locally and outside Crook County borders.

Those who have considered joining many others in the community in reaching out to those less fortunate can take that step any time. But it is hard to imagine a better and more fitting time to do so than during the holiday season. Perhaps this Christmas, you can put to the test that old familiar saying: It is better to give than to receive.

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