Sweet stories of love and service in Lake Stevens
The Spirit of Holiday Giving has meaning far beyond the feeling one gets by giving a tangible item to another person and yet so many will never really experience, first hand, its true meaning.
This year, as in the last ten that have passed, we at the Lake Stevens Family Support Center, have had the honor and privilege of knowing that a gift carries meaning and value that equates to much more than the sum of it’s MSRP. We have received the greatest of gifts - the gift of experiencing the true meaning of “Spirit of Giving;” a gift we want to share with you.
Family members of a 16-year-old girl cried, and gave hugs to all who were around, when they picked up an $80 pair of boots for their beautiful 16-year-old daughter. She has been undergoing chemotherapy for nearly two years. The boots, to them, represented the joy this brave girl will experience to receive a ‘wish beyond her expectations’ and a hope to wear them proudly, out in the world, when she beats the cancer she has been so courageously fighting.
A $100 gift card donated by an anonymous source purchased, in whole, five winter coats for five darling little girls. Two families were able to benefit from this generosity and both mothers were brought to tears as they expressed their gratitude for the realization that their daughters would no longer be cold when waiting for the school bus or while playing with friends on the playground.
A single mom sobbed when not only did she not have to paint a tree on her living room window, due to the generosity of a local gentleman whom donated live Christmas Trees for families, but another community member gifted her son with a new guitar this holiday season. To him this is a ‘dream come true’. His only wish for High School is to be able to learn guitar and be part of the High School band;’ a realization that the family would not have been able to afford.
And….A mother of three, who is caring for her ailing husband, through glassy tear-filled eyes, shared her gratitude for everyone who had been a party to her ability to have gifts and a Christmas tree this year. She brought US to tears when she announced that her husband’s physician upgraded his condition to terminal; this will be the LAST Christmas the family will be celebrating with him. Their Christmas, without the generosity of community family members, strangers, would have had no joy this holiday season; it would have consisted only of despair and sadness for an inevitable impending loss.
For all who have generously given to the Holiday Giving Project this year; on behalf of the 253 families - nearly 1,000 children (all whom have their own stories), and from the bottom of our hearts …
You have made a tremendous difference in the lives of others—a gift that has immeasurable value.
Kathleen Friend, Director
Lake Stevens Family Center
Freedom of religion, not freedom from religion
When I was told by my son that his teacher was not allowed to say “Merry Christmas” in her class, I was disgusted.
For years now Christians have been too silent and have watched as our entire way of American life has been attacked over and over by those who believe in nothing! Well as far as I’m concerned —enough is enough!
Some people think we have a constitutional right to not be offended. Well good luck finding that in the constitution!
What we have is a right to free speech to express our religious beliefs without limitations (freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion).
As Christians uphold their constitutional rights, they also honor the rights of other religions. It is this distinguishing quality that make us America. It is our acceptance of these qualities that makes us Americans.
Christians have been silent far too long, and what has it gotten us? We can’t say Merry Christmas for fear of offending someone. Well I for one am celebrating Christmas for what it is—Jesus’ birthday.
Legislature needs to slash budget, not focus on more taxes
I thought it was appropriate that Rep. Dunshee wrote a guest editorial during this holiday season. He proposes to create new "private-sector" jobs across the state by fixing up hatcheries, schools, forests, roads, and infrastructure.
He describes all the benefits of his proposal, but never suggests a way to pay for it. Maybe he believes that Santa Claus will pay for it.
The state has not cut $10 billion in spending. Those cuts are from desired increases. I suppose that if Hans had 10 items on his Christmas wish list, and only got eight, he would claim Santa Claus had stolen two presents from him. Actual state spending for each of the last four biennium has been $61B, $69B, $71B, and $72B. Spending in this state has only gone in one direction...up.
Rep. Dunshee has a strange definition of "private-sector". Government contractors are private companies, but they are doing government jobs paid for by taxes, and controlled by politicians and lobbyists. These contractors are required by law to be paid expensive, prevailing wage salaries. When the contract is over, the job disappears. That's not private sector.
How does Rep. Dunshee propose to pay for all these projects? He must either tax us more, or put the state into debt. When he mentions meeting underwater homeowners, he should have understood that the root cause was excessive debt. The state should not be making the same mistake.
When it comes to taxes, those same Nobel prize winning economists he mentions will tell us that raising taxes in a recession is the exact wrong thing to do.
President Roosevelt tried numerous public works projects to get the country out of the Great Depression. None of it worked. The Depression didn't end until government spending was slashed after the end of World War II.
Government spending does not boost the economy, it simply takes money out of the private sector, and puts it in the wasteful hands of bureaucrats.
If Rep. Dunshee wants to help create jobs, he should remove job killing regulations, free up the job market by making this a right-to-work state, and reduce government spending. Otherwise, states and countries that have freer economies (South Carolina, Singapore, etc.) will continue to siphon jobs away from Washington.
Protecting our most vulnerable
I am continuously amazed by our legislature.
Special session began at the end of November and lawmakers were instructed to balance the budget in 30 days. Despite only fixing a quarter of the problem lawmakers decided they were done and went home early.
It’s time our legislature starts creating a plan to increase revenue so we can protect our most vulnerable citizens.
Lawmakers can’t keep cutting programs to seniors and people with disabilities to solve the budget problem and they must listen to the will of the voters and implement initiative 1163.