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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8060 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of December 4 - 10, 2002


Embrace the season 
by giving

This is a plea for money—your money.

Public and private programs that help poor and disabled adults and children are becoming as parched as Idaho’s drought-stricken streambeds.

While Americans turned out in droves last week to fuel the holiday economy, it’s looking as though organizations that help the truly needy, especially in our own state, may come up short.

The Boise-area United Way reported that this year’s contributions are down about $386,000. That’s a lot of food, clothing and prescription drugs that will not be provided to the needy in Idaho’s most populous area.

Other human-services organizations are reporting similar problems nationally.

America’s Second Harvest, a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks, has seen food donations increase by 4 percent, while demand has increased by 20 percent.

It’s likely the problem will get worse before it gets better.

The national economy is uncertain and unstable. The stock market jumps around like a frightened rabbit every day depending on how close the nation seems to going to war with Iraq. State budget deficits and debilitating budget cuts loom over many states, including Idaho.

None of this is good news for the unemployed, the disabled and the mentally ill.

Human-services organizations report seeing some donors who have suddenly been forced into the lines of the needy. Sudden job losses, family illnesses and cuts in state services are leaving more than the usual number of people with no alternative but to seek help from private sources.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture sees an even deeper problem in the West, where statistics released in November pointed to a new "hunger belt" that stretches across the West, particularly in rural areas.

In the hubbub of the holiday season, it’s easy to forget that everyone can’t make merry. Before it gets too busy, we urge you to find the address of a favorite charity and embrace the spirit of the season—by giving.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.