"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."

-- Mother Teresa

Heartbreaking, unimaginable, gut-wrenching, nightmarish, incomprehensible, terrifying ...

It has been two weeks since the devastating shooting at a Connecticut elementary school rocked our nation and, really, the world. And, still, there are no words to describe the horror of that day.

So much has been said, yet it is impossible to understand the losses and erase the tragic event from our minds.

Perhaps, for now, all we can do is continue to contribute to our community, lend a helping hand, be kinder than necessary, be aware and maintain patience. Let's also make sure we revere our firefighters, police and, yes, educators -- all whom, in their own capacity, protect and serve.

As President Obama urged: "Consider how each of us can play a part in making our country worthy of the memory of those little children."

The holiday season may be ending, but the season of giving should never end.

THE BIG GIVES: Once again, the Byron Delta Lions Club showed its love to the community.

Members donated more than 450 new baby items for newborns to the county medical center during its annual Baby Shower.

In late fall, as part of Make A Difference Day, the all-women group helped collect loads of non-perishable goods for families in need in Byron, Discovery Bay and Knightsen.


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Member Darleen Giannini said they like being involved, and encourages other "energetic, caring women" to join the club. For more information, visit www.byrondeltalions.org.

SUPER SANTA TIME: The Elderly Wish Foundation recently hosted its annual Santa for Seniors event. The board of directors and volunteers sang Christmas carols and distributed gifts to four Antioch board-and-care homes.

Executive Director Mary Chapman said the fifth annual event was a "huge, heartwarming success."

As is the annual tradition, laptop quilts were donated by Bernie Cabrera of Antioch's Queen Bee's Quilt shop for each of the 23 seniors visited. Patty Rizzo donated 23 shoulder shawls she made in memory of her grandmother (Bea). Board members contributed the array of other items, including puzzles, toothbrushes, lotion, socks and gloves, thanks to Cliff and Lori Coles; along with a stuffed animal from State Farm's Jim Lanter.

The Wish foundation "makes wishes come true" for local seniors with failing health.

For more information on how to help during the year or make a monetary donation to the Elderly Wish Foundation, call 925-978-1883.

MARVELOUS MISTLETOE: Sure, they're only 9 years old, but that didn't stop Devon Cardoza and Jason Tastard from helping those in need.

The Loma Vista Elementary fourth-graders recently took a school project and went above and beyond.

The dynamic duo set up a mistletoe business at the Streets of Brentwood to earn money for Toys for Tots, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves seasonal program.

According to a news release, Steve Barnhouse, property operations, said, "Devon reached out to me ... I was so impressed by his organization, presentation and professionalism."

Cardoza harvested the mistletoe from his grandparents' house in Clayton.

The boys had a business name -- DJ's Mistletoe -- fliers and even a slogan: "If you want a kiss then, buy this."

For more information, call 925-516-8500.

Contact Trine Gallegos at trineg@att.net