By Ted Edmonds, 96th District Representative
The timing of the holiday season is obviously some sort of divine plan, because we end each year with a focus on our family and close friends, giving thanks for what’s important in our lives and looking ahead to what we can do better in the coming year.
It’s also part of God’s plan, I think, that there is a special emphasis on helping others right now, because cold weather is just now starting in. It’s tough every year for those who are less fortunate, but the last couple of years especially have been rough on even more people because of the downturn in the economy. Now more than ever, there are so many people who depend on the kindness of others to help them make it through the coldest days of the year. As the old proverb goes, it is far better to give than to receive — if not in material things, then surely for one’s soul.
In terms of suffering during the holidays, we should also keep in mind those who cannot spend time with their families during this holiday season, particularly our soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. We know how much they’re sacrificing so the rest of us can stay safe during this Christmas and the many to come, so we should do what we can to brighten theirs. By the time you read this, it will too late to send most letters in time to reach troops for the holidays, but the deadline to express mail CARE packages is December 18. Don’t delay! There are any number of organizations devoted to getting CARE packages to our men and women in uniform, but my favorite web sites are www.ustroopcarepackage.com, www.anysoldier.com, and of course, www.uso.org.
The U.S. Postal Service also has special programs to send packages to troops. You can locate them at www.usps.com/supportingourtroops, or call 1-800-610-8734. At all of these web sites, you can find a list of what to send and what’s needed most.
The holidays take on another meaning for me — they mean that a return to Frankfort is just around the corner. January 5 will be the first day of the legislative session, and with the financial situation we find ourselves in, I’m sure there will be several Scrooges all around me. I’ll be focused, meanwhile, on making cuts where we can afford them while making sure that we don’t ignore the needs of the many who absolutely depend on our help just to make it through their daily lives.
There will be time for more of that discussion in the coming months, and I look forward to hearing from all of you. But for now, let’s all focus on what’s most important: our family, and our friends, and our faith. Without those, all the other things we do don’t amount to much.
Remember, you can always contact me in Frankfort by calling my office at 502-564-8100, ext. 818.