Like any community, North Kitsap is a community of people from different cultures and different faiths. And yet, as members of this community, there is much that binds us together as one.
We mourned together this year — vehicle collisions took many lives.
We struggled to pay bills together. Kitsap County’s unemployment rate dipped to 6.6 percent in November and Poulsbo has had its best year in sales tax revenue since 2009, yet North Kitsap Fishline reports its client list has tripled in the last few years.
We gave to help our neighbors. Among the vehicles we used: the Poulsbo Lions/Raab Foundation Bellringer Fund and ShareNet Neighbor Aid.
We saw need and responded. The new Poulsbo Coffee Oasis will meet the needs of homeless and at-risk children and teens in North Kitsap. Churches continue to open their doors for community meals every week all year long. Hundreds of families received food for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year thanks to the local Bellringer Fund, North Kitsap Fishline, St. Vincent de Paul, and local churches.
We appreciated the generosity of others. The Suquamish Tribe once again donated more than $500,000 to the community, including $100,000 to the North Kitsap School District in April and $80,000 to Peninsula Community Health Services this week.
There are many more examples: Food drives organized by businesses and neighborhoods. Volunteers staffing emergency shelters. Service clubs doing what they do to meet health and social needs in our communities.
As we’ve seen this year — indeed, as we see year after year — each of us matters. We each have the capacity to make sure no one falls through the cracks. When times are tough, that’s how we survive.
Yes, our communities are comprised of people of different cultures and different faiths, but we all share one thing in common this season: Commitment to make tomorrow better.
Hanukkah was Dec. 8-16. Christmas is Tuesday. We wish you all the blessings of the season, and a Happy New Year.
Pray for Sandy Hook
Gov. Chris Gregoire asks Washingtonians to observe a moment of silence at 9:30 a.m. local time Friday out of respect for the families devastated by the murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
In Connecticut, places of worship will ring bells 26 times Friday in honor of each life taken at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Postal Service has established an address for messages of compassion and condolence to the community of Newtown.
The address is: Messages of Condolence for Newtown, P.O. Box 3700, Newtown, CN 06470. The USPS will work with local community groups to help distribute the messages.