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Our View

Don't be a scrooge

Representatives of the Salvation Army here in Steamboat Springs say while the community has been generous year after year, area residents may need a little more help this season than they have in the past.

Because the Salvation Army extension service here in Steamboat Springs is made up of volunteers, 90 percent of the money that is dropped in those holiday kettles stays right here at home.

Since Sept. 11, most people have found themselves in generous spirits. In Steamboat and throughout the nation the outpouring of support for victims of the terrorist attacks, firefighters, police and our military has been nothing short of tremendous.

But the fear is now, that generosity came at the expense of groups like the Salvation Army which desperately depend on our help, especially in slow economic times such as these.

LIFT-UP officials report that the organization that administers Salvation Army funds has already run out of the funds collected last year some $6,000 but is still looking at a stack of requests for rent and utility bill assistance.

Families in need receive no more than $200 in assistance.

Salvation Army organizers say that even if you cannot afford to make a monetary donation, people can still contribute to the cause through volunteering as a bell ringer. Some 45 individuals volunteered last year but there have been no new volunteers this year.

These volunteers come from groups such as Horizons, the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, Discovery Learning Center, Steamboat Springs Ski and Resort Corp. and GrandKids. These individuals give selflessly to people whom they will probably never meet.

But isn’t that what this season is all about?

With 22 more days left until Christmas Eve, there is still plenty of time to get involved in this or other charitable efforts that do so much for our friends and neighbors.

After all, organizations like the Salvation Army provide us with the opportunity to demonstrate our true Christmas spirit.

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