'Tis the season to help out your neighbors in need

Well, here it is again. That time of the year when the dictate is that you be filled with joy, shop till you drop, open your home to those not seen during the course of the year, and decorate, wrap, cook and serve as though you had Martha Stewart on hand.

Is this truly the reason for the season, or are we in fact victims of our own creation? Is it all about us, or is there time in your schedule and room in your heart for a random act of kindness, a pay-it-forward, to perhaps give more meaning and credence to the holidays, and those New Year's resolutions that are fast approaching?

There are many in our community who are in need, so let's start with the Baltimore Humane Society. Perhaps you saw or read about their recent acquisition of yet another dog? Noelle had been neglected to the point of becoming ill. Now this 5- month-old pit bull mix has gained seven pounds in the two weeks she has been under the care of the shelter, and has a foster family waiting for her when she is medically stable.

On the same day that Noelle was rescued, another pit bull mix, named Mona, was sedated and about to be euthanized when she too found her way to the Baltimore Humane Society. Mona is roughly 2 years old and is in good health. Life can be kind.

However, the shelter is over capacity with both dogs and cats, which is no surprise, as all critters are kept until homes are found for them. This is what is referred to as a "no kill" shelter, which has literally made it a dumping ground for unwanted pets. Many mornings the staff arrives to find the proverbial "baby" on their doorstep, the most recent of which was left in a box, covered in its own waste.

How do you cope? What do you do? Well, the Baltimore Humane Society invites you to come out and tour its facility, and look for a friend to take home with you. During the month of December, should you chose to adopt a cat, the fees to adopt a second cat are waived. Many of these felines have bonded, and would like to remain together if at all possible. If you are a senior looking to adopt, you will be accorded a reduced fee. Reduced fees also apply to the adoption of senior pets.

If you are unable to adopt, but would like to make a difference, join them on Saturday, Dec. 17 when the Humane Society partners with Heritage Subaru at the dealership in their first ever "Share the Love" event. Bring much-needed items to donate: bedding, blankets, sheets, towels, laundry detergent, dish washing liquid, latex gloves, Kongs, and Science Diet Food. The goal is to stuff a Subaru van and the shelter's van, which could culminate in awarding the Baltimore Humane Society a grant of $20,000.00. Your participation is needed to make this happen.

On hand for the festivities will be Sofi's Crepes, and Wendy's will be handing out coupons for free Frostys. There will be a silent auction, raffled items and the opportunity to adopt.

The Baltimore Humane Society is located at 1601 Nicodemus Road. Phone is 410-833-8848. Visit the web site at http://www.bmorehumane.org. And remember, be more humane!

The Community Crisis Center could use a helping hand at this time of the year. Donations can be made on Monday from 5 to 7 p.m., and Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 725 Main Street. Additionally, the center is partnering with the Volunteer Office of Baltimore County Department of Social Services for its Adopt a Family for the Holidays program. The form to do so can be downloaded from the web site http://www.communitycrisiscenter.org.

The Reisterstown American Legion Post 116 is pitching in to do its part. On Friday, Dec. 16, they will hold a Needy Children's Christmas Party for 34 students of Chatsworth Elementary. The party starts at 11:30 a.m., and if you would like to volunteer to help out, contact Nancy Mazepa at 410-526-4653.

This year, the American Legion Post will partner with the Reisterstown Recreation Council in the sale of Christmas trees. You can find them on the front grounds of the Hannah More School beginning the weekend of Dec. 3 and 4. Again this year, toys will be collected for Toys for Tots. New unwrapped toys can be dropped of at the post, which is located at 1090 Westminster Road.

The Kiwanians make every day special, with their global organization of volunteers dedicated to "changing the world one child and one community at a time." This organization serves the children of the world promoting "humane and spiritual values through the daily implementation of the Golden Rule."

The Reisterstown Kiwanis Club recently held a celebration of their seventy-sixth anniversary at Captain Harvey's Restaurant. Following the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of G-d Bless America, a sit-down dinner commenced. Among the attendees were President Jan Dudey, President-Elect Karen Keyser, Immediate Past President Jerald DeBar, secretary Don Dudey, and treasurer Harriett Gillan. Directors Gary Beck, Lindley DeGarmo, Michael Grimes, Ben Haas and Steve Jenkins also were on hand for this milestone occasion.

My thoughts and prayers are with former WBAL-TV anchor and longtime WBAL radio commentator Ron Smith. His nemesis is no longer that of an opposing viewpoint, but rather Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer. He apprised his listeners of such on his Tuesday, Oct. 18 show.

On Thursday, Nov. 17, Ron announced to his listeners that "additional chemotherapy was a futile way to go. …There isn't going to be any miracle." He planned to continue broadcasting as long as possible. That same day, his last column in the Baltimore Sun was published in which he qualified the decision to discontinue what had been only one round of chemotherapy, adding that his "remaining weeks would be spent in home hospice care."

It was but ten days later on Monday, Nov. 28 that Ron Smith told Dave Durian on his morning show that he was retiring from broadcasting. An update provided by WBAL-Radio announced two days later on Wednesday, Nov. 30 that Ron was no longer able to respond to letters or e-mails, though he appreciates and encourages those who continue sending.

Do keep sending them. The email address is: Rsmith@Wbal.com. And let us all hope for that miracle. I think this is one time Ron would graciously acquiesce to being proven wrong.

Congratulations on your milestone wedding anniversary: Alma and H. Robert Bergman (60), Joyce and Murray Hankin (55), Simone and Ralph Brunn (62).

Mazel Tov on the Bar Mitzvah of Jared Mitchell Schuster.

Best wishes for wedded bliss on the marriage of: Deborah Paige Levi to Eric Scott Lowy.

Here's to stars in your eyes on the engagement of Amy Steinberg to Ben Goldberg, Irina Gold to Jonathan Herbst, Rachel Schaper to Jason Williams, Ilyssa Wexler to Jason Williams.

Welcome to our world: Jacob Beser born to Chelsea and Joshua, Hailey Emma Klau born to Barbara and Andy, Elijah Aaron Peregoff born to Sarah and Jason

My condolences on the passing of: Jerry Fader.

Look for my next column on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012

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