We’re thankful that we live in a community where citizens help others, even during hard times.

Keizerites have always been generous to their fellow man when it comes to feeding the hungry or providing winter coats to the cold or, especially, helping kids.

Earlier this month St. Edward Catholic Church held a drive to collect coats, jackets and sweaters for those less fortunate in need of the basic necessary of warm clothes at the outset of winter.

Last week more than 300 people attended Keizer Young Life’s annual dessert auction and raised more than $25,000 to help, in part, to fund programs that help local kids, some whom are homeless or live in less than ideal conditions.

In a few weeks the Keizer Network of Women (KNOW), a part of the Keizer Chamber Foundation, will distribute food boxes and toys to more than 100 families in need.  The food and toys will not only brighten the holidays for these families but it will give them the things many of us take for granted—food on the table.

When the going gets tough Keizer opens their hearts and their wallets.  It is heartening that people who may be in hard economic times themselves still find enough in the cupboard to pass on those who are living on the edge.

Some people call it giving back to the community, we call it paying it forward.  People like Mark and Shellee Schroeder, owners of Schroeder’s Guest House on Portland Road.  On Thanksgiving Day they will open their restaurant to feed the needy on a day that is all about feasting.  With the help of volunteers they will serve a holiday meal to those who might otherwise have nothing that day.

When youth groups and school teams come calling, Keizer answers the call with “How much?” rather than “I can’t.”  Sure, not everyone is able to donate, but most find a way to assist.

The economy may continue to give a lot of people the old one-two punch these days but Keizerites never forgets who they are—people who are giving and generous even during the hard times.

And for that we send out a big thank you.

—LAZ