The canned goods are coming in. The dollars are mounting up.

The 2007 Share the Spirit food basket campaign is less than $6,000 away from its $19,000 goal in the last week of giving.

That’s good news for more than 800 of Rogers County’s neediest families.

In the latest report from Debbye McClurg, administrative assistant with the Department of Human Services, we are introduced to one of these families. They don’t necessarily consider themselves among the “neediest,” but they exemplify the courage those who find themselves in need sometimes must have.

The Smiths (not their real name) are grandparents.

They are parents of four grown children and many grandchildren.

Recently, they have received their nephew and three nieces into their home and are in the process of adopting them.

The DHS case worker said, “At a time in life when couples often times ‘spoil the grandchildren and send them home,’ they are giving 24 hour a day care / 365 days a year to these precious children. This family lives in a trailer, which is very cozy for the six of them. For six months, I have been their worker. Every time I enter their home, kind, respectful, warm and caring people greet me. There is peace in their home. They provide us with a wonderful model of ‘families assuming responsibility for their own’!

“They are doing preventative work for a safer community by preventing children from growing up without their needs met (often times being abused) and entering adulthood with a tank of rage in their hearts that often times explodes with more than road rage.”

“Thanks to resources provided by your tax dollars, they were helped with bunk beds for the girls, which gave a touch of hope and support to grandparents who are sacrificially giving of themselves. Thank you!”

The Smith family is just one of the ongoing stories of people in Rogers County who are making a difference.

You can join that group by contributing to this year’s Share the Spirit project.

Tax-deductible donations can be made to Share the Spirit, P.O. Box 248, Claremore, OK 74018, or left at the Claremore Progress business office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

In addition to cash donations, non perishable foods and canned goods can be dropped at several locations around the city: City Hall reception area, City Police Department, The Daily Progress office, Will Rogers Library, Community Center, Recreation Center and the City Warehouse.

Compiled by Clarice Doyle, Progress Executive Editor