December is the season of celebration, giving and — perhaps most importantly — hope. It may be an abstract concept, but the results are real. Hope is the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s the promise that tomorrow can be better than today. It’s the empowerment that comes from letting go of the past and looking joyously to the future. Hope matters — and it’s at the heart of what this month means to so many.
Our community is blessed with a plethora of individuals and organizations who make it their business to create hope. This month, the Twin Transit team was honored to collaborate with two of these inspirational groups.
Volunteers of the Chehalis Eagle’s Holiday Dinner for Displaced Children and Families understand the power of hope. This group creates a special holiday memory for those in need; a delicious meal with all the trimmings, shared with people who care. Volunteers make a point of connecting with each attendee and every child receives a special present.
If you ever want to feel hopeful and inspired, simply chat with a Forgotten Children’s Fund volunteer about their remarkable work. Every year this group gathers and wraps gifts, dons Santa and Elf costumes and delivers a truly magical Christmas to 200 local families who need a hand up. Their work brings hope to those most in need.
This work matters. Hope is what empowers someone to bridge the gap between where they are and where they want to be. It’s the motivating force that inspires big leaps — back to school, to a better job, to a new way of life. As our area’s main source of public transportation, we see it every day. Our guiding light is the belief that transportation should never get in the way of education, employment, medical or other services.
They may just look like buses, but they’re hope on wheels.
Hope is everywhere this time of year, but nowhere do I see it more clearly than in our own riders. The Twin Transit team kicked off December with a “12 Days of Christmas Food Drive,” offering a free ride in exchange for a nonperishable food donation. It seemed like a good way to gather donations for a good cause and, as most canned goods are cheaper than daily fare, save our riders some money during the holiday season.
I never dreamed how generously our riders would respond. Although only one nonperishable food item was needed to ride, they showed up with bags full. Many donated even though they’d already purchased a monthly pass. Some donors are short on food themselves. Others donated even though they don’t have a place to call home. Their unconditional generosity is what this season is all about. It fills me with hope — that even in these darkest of winter months, together, we can turn on the light.
Don’t miss Twin Transit’s free Holiday Lights Tour, which takes place from December 16 through December 20, departing from Amtrak at 5 p.m. nightly. Nonperishable food donations are welcome.