Are you one of the lucky ones who can help?

A good friend of mine, an ed­it­or at The Wall Street Journ­al, spent last week liv­ing in a tent in his base­ment. After the lights went out at his home on Staten Is­land, he and his wife and two young chil­dren star­ted camp­ing out in their cel­lar be­cause it turned out to be the warmest spot in their house.

They went there after Hur­ricane Sandy picked up a big tree on their street and threw it across power lines, en­sur­ing the homes on the block would be dark for days on end. The tree missed my friend’s car by just a dozen feet, or he would have lost his wheels along with his lights.

“We were lucky,” he wrote in his blog.

How many times did you hear those words spoken over the last week or so as TV re­port­ers in­ter­viewed people along the Jer­sey Shore whose lives had been turned up­side down by the storm’s high winds and walls of wa­ter?

“We were lucky,” they said, des­pite hav­ing a boat land on their front porch.

“We were lucky,” they said as they gazed through the hole in their roof to the sky above.

To me, those words cap­ture something great about Amer­ic­ans — the re­si­li­ence that seems to come along with the birth cer­ti­fic­ate.

We all get knocked down at one time or an­oth­er, but then get up, brush ourselves off and be­gin our re­cov­ery by first count­ing our bless­ings.

You are among the lucky ones if you have man­aged to land or keep a job, had med­ic­al in­sur­ance when you needed it, or stayed afloat dur­ing the eco­nom­ic storm of the last four years.

If you con­sider your­self among the for­tu­nate, I hope you will make a dona­tion to the North­east Times’ Elean­or Smylie Com­munity Fund. For 57 years, the fund has been match­ing read­ers who need help at Christ­mas time with those who have a little ex­tra to spare. Every year, the fund makes sure our neigh­bors who are hurt­ing will have a good hol­i­day meal and each child will have at least one present un­der the tree.

We will ac­cept any amount of dona­tion, and will pub­lish your name on a list of donors in the news­pa­per. Some people prefer to give an­onym­ously, and we will hon­or that re­quest.

In 2011, the com­munity fund was able to help 117 fam­il­ies and three so­cial ser­vice agen­cies. We hope to do even bet­ter this year.

If you have giv­en money to help the vic­tims of Hur­ricane Sandy and are tapped out, please ac­cept our tip of the hat for think­ing of oth­ers in need.

But if you still have something left to give, and would like to help someone down the block have a bright­er Christ­mas, please send a dona­tion to:

  Elean­or Smylie Com­munity Fund

  2512 Met­ro­pol­it­an Drive

  Tre­vose, PA. 19053

We’ll do our part and make sure your dona­tion buys gift cards for people who are a bit down on their luck as the hol­i­days ap­proach.  •• 


• James Al­bert: $20

• D. Collins: $50

• Ju­dith Kary: $5 

• Ern­est F. Lands­mann Sr.: $50

• Frances Pet­rella: $10

• In memory of Mar­garet Evans-Tarpini­an: $25

• In memory of Wal­ter and Jane Mont­gomery and Mor­ris and Reba Pearl­s­tien: $100

• An­onym­ous: $10

Reach Lil­lian Swan­son at 215-354-3030 or lswan­

You can reach at

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