We received dozens of nominations for our True Meaning of Christmas gifts since Thanksgiving. All of the nominations were made in the spirit of giving to people or organizations that deserve recognition and help, but we didn’t want to spread our gifts too thinly. A panel reviewed the nominations and selected three recipients, the Families and Communities Together Inc. Family Assistance Fund, the Wade and Carrie Smith family, and the Tim and Michelle Kersten family.
Including those gifts, this year Hoch Publishing Co. has donated more than $8,700 in cash and services to Marion County charities and families in need. In a very real sense, we operate Hoch Publishing as a community trust. The owners have never received a cent in dividends or directors’ fees, and the company has absolutely no debt. Every cent of profit is returned to the communities we serve in the form of donations, product improvements, and local salaries and benefits.
That’s true not only in Marion, where our main office is located, but also in Hillsboro and especially in Peabody, where we operate the Gazette-Bulletin at a loss to ensure that the community retains one of its oldest and most important businesses.
Communities and their newspapers are inexorably tied. Good newspapers make communities better. Good communities make newspapers better. If one is weak, the other suffers. It’s in that spirit that we sponsored this year’s True Meaning of Christmas event. And it’s in that spirit that we encourage other businesses in all of the communities we serve to think about how they can help as well.