letter editor2HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (12/2/13) - I would like to take a moment to express my most sincere appreciation to our community for their generous donations and to the volunteers from our community, who helped make our first “Salvation for Thanksgiving Food Drive” for the Salvation Army a success.

Also, I would like to express my appreciation to our Madisonville Kroger grocery store and to all the staff, who work there.

As you know, less fortunate families and individuals in our community go without proper food, shelter, and essential medical care every day due to a variety of factors including low wages, job loss, injuries, illness, age, domestic violence or divorce. While all of us are susceptible to hard times, children and the elderly are at the most risk, and they make up the largest number of those in need.

With the generous support of people like you, we will be able to help many of these families and individuals not only to meet essential daily needs, but to have encouragement and real hope.

It is very humbling to be in a community that cares for each other. Along with this food drive, several other individuals and business entities in our community have stepped in to lead in guiding our community toward “the solution” — Boy Scout Troop 11, McCay Chiropractic, Wellness Family Chiropractic, the Breaking Bread Ministry, and the Kentucky State Police — just to name a few. There are many others.

The generous giving our community has poured out in what Thanksgiving and Christmas are really all about. Often, it is those of us, who organize these events who are given praise. Yet, the praise is to God and to those of you who answered His calling to contribute and volunteer. You will most likely pass someone in our community that your donation provided aide unto. You will not know each other. You will not know they are the person you helped. They will not know that it was your generosity that helped them through a tough time.

However, when they sit down to have a meal that they were not certain was going to be and they bow their heads to give thanks to the Lord for answering their prayers and providing the meal they are about to receive, God knows exactly who answered His call and expressed love and compassion for their fellow man as Jesus would have us do. God will indeed smile His blessings upon you for your compassion and love.

President Ronald Reagan addressed the nation Nov. 22, 1986, he stated: “The spirit of volunteerism is deeply engraved in us as a nation. Maybe it has something to do with our history in a frontier land. Those early Americans who gave us Thanksgiving Day itself had to help each other in order to survive. Joining together to plant crops, raise houses and build barns. And, perhaps, they discovered that in helping others their own lives were enriched.

In our own day, a poll showed most Americans believe that no matter how big government gets and no matter how many services it provides it can never take the place of volunteers. In other words, we Americans understand that there are no substitutes for gifts of service given from the heart.”

President Reagan’s words ring true even today. The government serves a role, I suppose, in providing aid but it does so out of duty and justification. We, Americans, aid our fellow countrymen out of compassion and love. The aid is not the solution. The compassion and love is. God is Love.

Thank you again to our entire community for your compassion and love.

Christopher H. Toney

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