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Today's word on journalism

Monday, January 29, 2007

Words as weapons:

"When he had a pen in his hand it was like giving a kid a machine gun."

--Peter Hall, theater director, on "Angry Young Man" playwright John Osborne (1929-1994)

Local volunteers go all out to bring a merry Christmas to needy families

By Landon Bench

December 13, 2006 | CACHE COUNTY -- This year as the holiday season nears, many are thinking of that perfect stocking-stuffer or the newest appliance for our homes. Unfortunately, many people even in Cache County will be going without such extras.

Tremendous efforts are being made by churches as well as other non-profit organizations, like the Cache Community Food Pantry and the Utah Food Bank, to help combat this situation. These organizations strive to get food, clothes or money to help families in need, and donations come in even more during Christmastime.

The Cache Community Food Pantry collects canned goods and nonperishable foods, often from the Utah Food Bank, and distributes them to Cache County and even senior centers in Brigham City and Preston, Idaho. Volunteers, often Cache County Jail inmates, about whom one Food Pantry worker who asked not to be named said, "are always dependable and always there." gather the food from various churches and other locations.

The Utah Food Bank, said the worker, sends trucks. "Sometimes it will have three palates [of canned goods or nonperishable items], sometimes nine or 10 palates." He also said that both private and public companies donate, but the largest donors are individuals.

The Food Pantry completed a food drive this Saturday. Food drives like this one are announced on the radio and in local churches. The result from the food drive Saturday was "pretty good," according to the Food Pantry worker. "We got 17 bins of canned goods and seven or eight bins of dried goods," he said. He also said there would be additional food drives in March and May.

The LDS church is also helping needy families this winter. Many members of the LDS church helped with the food drive Saturday for Help Your Neighbor Day, according to LDS Bishop Craig Tippets, of the Wellsville 8th ward. Tippets, along with many of his friends and neighbors left donations for the Boy Scouts and other ward members to gather. When they're not donating cans for the Utah Food Bank, Tippets and the LDS church are helping with Sub-for-Santa or helping with other humanitarian aid.

"We have a pretty extensive effort for Sub-for-Santa to meet the needs [of needy families]. Typically, we make efforts within members of our ward to help to provide those kids that may not have a Christmas."

As part of their ward party, Tippets said, donations were collected for humanitarian aid. These donations helped make about 350 newborn kits -- kits with basic supplies used to help people in developing countries receive a baby. These kits included such things as cloth diapers, pins, soap, a washcloth, a basic nightgown and a little blanket.

"It's a mind-boggling commitment that the [LDS] church has to humanitarian efforts," Tippets said. He also said the vast majority of the assistance is distributed to non-members.

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