On one hand, I want to encourage you to help those poor souls struggling on the East Coast from Hurricane Sandy.
On the other hand, they're a one-time thing 2,000 miles away. Right here in Utah we have needs just as bad that never go away.
Do both, I suppose. You decide.
Ben Pales did. On Monday the candidate for the Utah Legislature's House District 12 seat gave the last $500 in his campaign war chest to Kanesville Elementary School.
Ben's not dropping out, just stopping spending. No more yard signs or blathering post cards. Ben said he's running to do something about school funding and figured he'd put his money where his campaign was.
Ben's gesture matches a suggestion a friend made: Obama and Romney should donate their remaining campaign funds to Hurricane Sandy victims.
They each raised close to $1 billion, mostly spent getting a handful of swing state undecided voters to make up their minds.
But minds are made up. Nobody's watching any more. If someone proved, today, that Mitt Romney sells heroin to kindergartners, Mitt would still carry Utah.
Mitt and Barack and every other politician in the country should stop advertising and donate the remaining millions in their campaign war chests to the Red Cross. Their campaign staffs can help dry out flooded homes or distribute food.
This might even simplify the election. The first presidential candidate to donate looks like a hero and gets massive free publicity. The second one looks like a pathetic "Me too!" weeny, and who wants a weeny running the country?
The Red Cross has made donating simple. If any local or national politico wants to do what I sincerely hope Barack and Mitt are doing this morning, go to www.redcross.org and click on the bright red "donate now" button.
Or mail a check to American Red Cross of Northern Utah, 2955 Harrison Blvd., Ogden, 84403.
If all our politicians did that -- it would require leadership which, I know, is asking a lot -- the rest of us could concentrate on helping local charities.
Which, as I said, are struggling.
Even with Utah's unemployment rate below 6 percent, the need in Top of Utah is huge. Too many working people need help because their jobs don't pay much. A family of four whose breadwinner makes $10 an hour is living on $20,800 a year (and yes, Mitt, paying no federal income tax.)
As the holidays loom, my email box fills with pleas for publicity.
The Joyce Hansen Hall Food Bank needs tons of food for an anticipated 3,000 holiday food baskets, not to mention the hundreds of folks it helps daily.
Drop off canned goods at 2504 F Ave., send money to Catholic Community Services at the same address. Or call 801-428-1296.
Larry and Marcia Hamblin anticipate needing 9,000 toys for the annual Toys for Tots drive. Collection barrels are all over, but they're happy to go shopping for you. Make checks payable to Toys for Tots Foundation and mail to L. Hamblin, Toys for Tots Coordinator, 376 West 2200 North, Sunset, 84015.
Your Community Connection's Spirit of Giving program hopes to help 500 children, most from families with abused mothers, with new clothes as well as toys.
Contact Lynzee at 801-689-1706 or through email at email@example.com.
This is asking a lot, but you need to help because someone has to and politicians, except for Ben Pales, are too busy buying ads.
Which nobody is listening to. And these guys say they can cut waste in government?