Our Voice: Generous Mid-Columbians team up with charities

Thank you, Tri-Cities.

You're a bunch of givers and our community is the better for it.

Each day in December, the Tri-City Herald profiled a charity and listed its needs. Those needs ranged large to small and all points in between.

That this community is philanthropic is something we already knew, but the outpouring of generosity to the profiled organizations still amazed us during the holiday season.

Many of us have good intentions to donate to a worthy cause, and a lot of us plan to do just that during the holidays. It's a time of goodwill and charity, a time to be thankful for what we have and to help make life a little brighter for others who are less fortunate.

But the chaos of the season can also get in the way of our good intentions. Plus, there are so many deserving groups that it can be an overwhelming decision to decide where to give dollars or goods.

By providing a daily list of needs for area charities, it looks like the process became a little easier for folks. The stories highlighted specific needs from yarn to volunteer office help. People of all means could find a way to help, from donating cash to office supplies to their time.

The Children's Reading Foundation received books, Project Warm-Up got yarn, 100 people signed on as members of the Franklin County Historical Museum to provide financial support, and a $3,000 donation was given to the Cavalcade of Authors. An anonymous donor worked through the Three Rivers Community Foundation to provide a van for the Edith Bishel Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Another anonymous donor worked through the foundation to provide $10,000 to the Children's Developmental Center. And the list goes on.

Other organizations saw the power of the effort and submitted wish lists for consideration as well. We know many of those were likely filled but not reported to us.

And if you think we're patting ourselves on the back, we're not. This is all about you.

Time and time again, this community comes to the aid of organizations that work so hard to make this a better place for us all. It seems all they have do is ask.

Many of these organizations are largely volunteer driven and lack personnel with the time and inclination to secure grants and donations. Most of the time, they're too busy with the mission at hand just trying to keep the doors open, the shelves stocked or the services rolling.

By reaching out and filling their needs, you helped a host of organizations start a new year in a better position than expected.

You took some stress off strained charities and their staffs. And helped those they help with your contributions.

A lot of us want to know where our dollars are going, and these wish lists provided clarity to that path. The stories provided a way to match givers with needs.

Amazing. That's what you are, Tri-Cities. Once again, you came through when it was needed most.

Thank you for your generosity and a great start to 2014. Go to tricityherald.com/wishlist to see all the stories online.