To those who helped make someone's Christmas merry
We thank the people of Mahoning County for their generous support of the Salvation Army's Christmas program. It was a joy to stand at the red kettle and feel the warmth of the Christmas season when folks stopped to wish us a Merry Christmas as they placed their donation in the kettle.
We especially wish to thank the anonymous donor who dropped in a $5,000 check, which certainly made the bell ringers' kettle the highest for that day. Large or small, donations brought a smile to the face of a cold, tired worker. We appreciate the support, as well, through the mail appeal and the generosity of those who participated in the Angel Tree program. Food donations were received and these are a necessity to be used throughout the year. Thanks to the many service clubs, business places, churches, schools, social clubs, athletic groups and individuals who supported us in various ways, whether volunteering time or contributing money, gifts, or sponsoring parties for children in the community. We are glad for the opportunity to work together with all groups.
Our special thanks to the Marine Corps League, Toys for Tots, for hard work and time in securing toys for us to distribute along with our food baskets and articles of clothing. Because of the generosity of Mahoning County citizens' we were able to serve over 1,800 households.
Seniors, young families, teens and children of Mahoning County, you shared the real spirit of Christmas and therefore, your attitude helped us fulfill the real mission of The Salvation Army to serve mankind. We thank you from our hearts for making this Christmas season a truly blessed one for The Salvation Army and those whom we serve in this community. The people of Mahoning County are generous and certainly fit into our motto -- Caring is Sharing.
God bless you.
Majors BRUCE and LORRAINE FLEMING
Mahoning County Coordinators
Time to tell Congress that the pork has gotten out of hand
Our representatives in Washington like to talk about fiscal responsibility, but do their actions support their words? It turns out that the recently approved $388 billion spending bill that was supposed to demonstrate fiscal restraint is just loaded with local pork projects.
No one knows or know one is telling who slipped these porkers into the 14-inch-thick 1,690 page bill and no doubt most of our congressmen had no idea they were voting for them. But when our nation is more than $400 billion in debt and fighting a very expensive war it should not be spending as usual.
Did you know that as a taxpayer you are helping to pay $75,000 for the Paper Industry Hall of Fame in Appleton, Wisc.? Or $100,000 for a Weather Museum in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania? Or $800,000 to fund a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center in San Diego? These may seem minor amounts in the huge spending bill, but they add up. Taxpayers for Common Sense, a bipartisan watchdog group, has identified 11,772 pieces of pork that add up to $15.8 billion. Some of them may be worthwhile local projects, but they should not be added to a federal budget that is carrying us deeper and deeper into debt.
What can be done to encourage more responsible spending? As taxpayers and voters we can let our representatives in Washington know that we are aware of the wasteful spending, and are going to hold them accountable. If enough of us do it they might listen.
PAUL and ANNA MARY GAMBLE
New Wilmington, Pa.