Editorial: Give thanks

There has been considerable talk lately about the need to rein in taxes, and be choosy about what the town spends its money on.

But there are many benefits our community receives at no little or no cost to taxpayers, and now — with Thanksgiving upon us — is a perfect time to reflect on what we receive thanks to the generosity of others.

For example, the Norwalk River Valley Trail now boasts almost 1.5 miles of wide, cinder trails that are used everyday by large numbers of people. Walk along this trail, particularly on weekends, and you will meet people walking, jogging, riding their bikes, pushing strollers. Sometimes alone, sometimes, in couples or groups, young, old, in-between. Often, there will be multi-generational groups out for a walk.

None of this would be possible without the generous donations of individuals, families, and businesses. The town has contributed some services, but no funds. And yet, we all benefit.

Wilton Library has a myriad of donors, and this generosity means there are many free programs, from story times to author talks, to musical programs. Without the generosity of the Shoff Foundation, the Innovation Station would not be a reality, offering people of all ages the opportunity to stretch their creative muscles.

Sometimes it’s not money that makes the difference, but time. The time volunteers put in to enhance our lives in so many ways, from the book sales at the library to Minks to Sinks, to those who visit the homebound as volunteers with Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County, and those who drive as part of FISH and Stay at Home in Wilton.

We can also give thanks to those who serve our town on the many boards and commissions. Save the first selectman who is paid to run the town, they all contribute time and talent as volunteers.

Literal lifesavers are the members of the Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps. They save the town a tremendous amount of money by not having to employ a paid ambulance staff. Also volunteering to keep us safe is Wilton’s own Community Emergency Response Team — CERT. The group recently completed its training classes for citizens and new recruits and last Saturday participated in a training program with the SkyHealth medical helicopter. Soon, seriously injured or ill people who cannot easily get to a hospital because they are in a remote location or the traffic makes timely travel impossible, will be able to be airlifted for treatment.

We all benefit immeasurably from the generosity of others. They deserve our thanks, not only now, but all year through.