No place for Mr. Grinch in the hearts of Division of Marine Fisheries staff

Saturday, December 15, 2018 - 3:50pm
“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

A variation of this long-cherished quote adorns the wall next to a popular coffee pot at the Division of Marine Fisheries’ Headquarters, reminding staff of the true holiday spirit every morning as they pour a cup of Joe.

Not that they need reminding that ‘tis the season for giving.

2018 marks the 31st consecutive year that Division of Marine Fisheries employees have participated in Project Christmas Cheer, providing gifts to children in Carteret County whose families are experiencing financial need during the holidays.

This year, staff adopted 17 “angels” from seven different families, donating more than $2,000 of their own money and using community service leave to shop for clothes, toys, school supplies, and, in some cases, that all-important bike.

Other gifts were different this year, as Hurricane Florence played the Grinch, leaving many Carteret County families displaced from their homes and/or out of work because businesses remain closed for repairs. Division of Marine Fisheries employees provided bed linens, blankets, food cards, and even a used couch.

Some of the staff that provided money and time for Project Christmas Cheer this year are displaced from or have significant damage to their own homes, said Deputy Director Dee Lupton.

“They’ve gone out of their way to ensure that others have a good holiday,” Lupton said.

“I think that show of putting others first is amazing. That’s Service!”

Dr. Seuss would be proud.

“Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Whos far and near. Christmas Day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome, Christmas, while we stand... heart to heart… and hand in hand.”
―Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (TV special)

Patricia Smith