Extraordinary acts of kindness and generosity shown by local residents and businesses do not surprise us anymore, as this is such a giving community. But they are always welcome news. And, particularly at this time of year, there are usually many wonderful stories to share.

One this Thanksgiving week centered on an anonymous gift of $20,000 to Loaves and Fishes, a south Glendale food bank run by Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, Inc. The donor, acting on a story he read in the News-Press about the agency's need to fill its pantry, stepped up and delivered big. One can easily imagine Lora Young, the food bank's program coordinator, "just about dancing on air," as she described the feeling she had when she learned of the gift, which will provide food for those in need through the winter and into the spring.

Also this week, thousands of pounds of canned goods were delivered to the Burbank Temporary Aid Center from Nickelodeon Animation Studios, complemented by 200 turkeys from Warner Bros. Studios and the Brad Korb Team of RE/MAX in Action Realtors. The center serves about 600 families month in and month out, so these gifts were especially helpful. The hunt is now focused on more donations of ham and roast beef in time for Christmas dinners and it is hoped this week's donations will generate others.

Our county alone has nearly 58,000 homeless people, according to the 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report that was released recently by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Add to those numbers the many families who are simply down on their luck or disadvantaged and unable to put food on their tables. All must rely on the generosity of others who are able to contribute something: money, food, clothing and yes, some of the "extras" such as toys, to help make life bearable.

It is gratifying to know that here in the greater Glendale-Burbank area people and businesses are joining together to do what they can to help these people in need. Our local donors have no doubt discovered that the experience of giving to others has a way of boosting one's own spirits as well. And, it's a habit well worth developing and putting to use 365 days a year, since hunger knows no season. Keep those donations flowing!