Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Holiday Blessings: Part Two

From Thanksgiving weekend until the Christmas Season, right through the annual fresh start afforded by New Years Day, most of us do a lot of thinking.

We think about our blessings. We think about our family and our friends. And we think about our lives, our careers, our future plans, and the improvements we should each make in our lives.
In my case, I try not to dwell too much on the “improvements” needed, because if I do, it ends up occupying all of my thinking time, leaving no time to think about the blessings, etc.

Fact of the matter is I could spend all my time counting the blessings: I have way too many to count. From time to time, I acknowledge some of them in this column – especially my family and friends – because I simply don’t take the time I should to show my gratitude otherwise.

This week, I need to add to my list of blessings: I am truly fortunate to have some of the finest people I know working each week to make this newspaper a reality.

As you probably know, our small enterprise publishes five different community newspapers each week. We believe these very localized newspapers are important to the communities they serve… giving local communities a forum for communicating local issues, allowing small businesses to reach their most-likely customers, and simply helping neighbors know neighbors a little better.

But this newspaper would not be possible without the dedicated efforts of a small, hard-working group of people. We depend on a few individuals who make this their full-time occupation, and a much larger group who contribute a smaller amount of their time and talents each week.

We have writers, reporters, columnists and editors who provide most of the content you read each week, and we have photographers who capture the images which help bring the written words to life. We have account executives who work with local businesses to provide the advertising while actually provides the income which makes the newspaper possible. We have graphic artists and page designers who create the ads, and transform the words, pictures, ads, and headlines into pages ready to print each week. And we have circulation specialists who insure the delivery of thousands and thousands of copies of the newspaper each week.

In addition to these paid staffers, we have dozens of volunteers who contribute news releases, columns, photos, or other creative offerings on a regular basis.

After carefully organizing all those elements together – like hundreds of pieces of a weekly jigsaw puzzle -- we somehow end up with a newspaper each week… a prospect which concerned us a bit when we embarked on this journey back in 1989!

It’s a lot more work than you would imagine could be done with a very small staff. But somehow, it gets done… every week… through rain, sleet or snow, just like the mail.

Probably the biggest key to successfully getting the job done each week is the fact that I stay out of the office most of the time. Years ago I discovered – much to my chagrin – that the business operated better without me than with me!

So, when I say “we somehow end up with a newspaper each week”, I should more appropriately say “THEY end up with a newspaper each week”.

I am blessed to be a small part of a great, hard-working group of people who pull together to provide something important for our community each week.

We will continue to try to improve each week to give this community the newspaper it deserves. And, as always, we ask for your continued help and support. Whether you contribute a neighborhood column each week, send us an occasional photo, use our newspaper to advertise your business, or simply thank local advertisers for supporting the newspaper, your help is appreciated.

And this holiday season, I’m thankful for you.

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