A time to give and a time to get

One of the hard­est things for many of us to do is to ask for help. That’s why I give great cred­it to the read­ers who have con­tac­ted the North­east Times over the last two weeks to ask for as­sist­ance dur­ing the Christ­mas hol­i­days.

These poignant pleas are com­ing in via mail, email and over the phone. I talked to a wo­man last week who said her hus­band is a dis­abled Vi­et­nam vet and she lost her job a few months ago. She’s wor­ried about how she and her hus­band are go­ing to buy Christ­mas gifts for three chil­dren and a grand­child. And the last thing she wants is for her hus­band to worry about mak­ing sure the fam­ily has a nice Christ­mas.

An­oth­er wo­man wrote that a neigh­bor had re­cently spent a lot of time in the hos­pit­al and a re­hab­il­it­a­tion cen­ter and is un­able to work. “Chil­dren don’t un­der­stand the lack of money around Christ­mas, es­pe­cially when all the ads on TV are for toys and fun games,” she wrote. “I hope you can help this fam­ily.”

I hope so, too. 

For 57 years, the North­east Times’s Elean­or Smylie Com­munity Fund has been do­ing a won­der­ful thing — match­ing people who need help at the hol­i­days with those who are in a po­s­i­tion to give. The pa­per ad­min­is­ters the fund, and all the money col­lec­ted is used to buy gift cards and provide hol­i­day din­ners with all the sides for folks who are go­ing through a rough patch.

Some of our neigh­bors have lost their jobs and oth­ers have seen med­ic­al bills eat away their sav­ings. We know some of you have homes that are fin­an­cially un­der wa­ter and oth­ers have suffered the loss of a spouse. 

Whatever the reas­on, if you would like to re­quest help, or if you know of someone who could use as­sist­ance at Christ­mas­time, please take a few minutes to write a let­ter or email. You can reach us by mail at 2512 Met­ro­pol­it­an Drive, Tre­vose, PA. 19053. My email ad­dress is lis­ted at the bot­tom of this art­icle.

Tell us your story, and be sure to in­clude a name and con­tact in­form­a­tion for an agency or per­son for veri­fic­a­tion.  Everything about the pro­cess will re­main an­onym­ous.

And if you want to donate, please send a check to the Elean­or Smylie Com­munity Fund at the ad­dress above. Any amount is wel­come and will be put to good use.

We will pub­lish the names of donors in the pa­per and the amount giv­en. If you would like to re­main an­onym­ous,  we will hon­or your re­quest.

The more you con­trib­ute, the more we can help our neigh­bors in need. If you do your part, many more people — in­clud­ing you — will have a mer­ri­er Christ­mas.••

Lil­lian Swan­son is ed­it­or of the North­east Times. Reach her at 215-354-3030 or         lswan­son@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at lswanson@bsmphilly.com.

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