Thanks to local volunteers

Posted on Nov. 6, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.

After a one-week hiatus in the run-up to today’s election, we’re back with our regular Tuesday expression of gratitude for those who work to make this a better place.

Thanks to the volunteers at the polls today, and to all those in the county clerk’s office who have worked long hours to ensure a free and fair election. Thanks, too, to today’s candidates. It takes courage to run for public office, especially in today’s ruthless political climate, but we are stronger as a community when we weigh competing ideas.

You may dismiss all Democrats as bleeding-heart liberals. You may reject all Republicans as tools of big business. Yet opposition helps us sharpen our views — it prods us to examine what we believe, refine our thinking, articulate our opinions.

So that candidate from the other party? The one you hate with such a passion? That candidate did you a favor today by appearing on the ballot.

Thanks to all those involved in the initial Seed to Feed program, organized by local farmers to benefit local food pantries.

Organizers planted a one-acre garden in Elkhart and second plot in Goshen. They turned out nearly four tons of green beans, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.

A farmer also planted a third field, which yielded 19,000 pounds of potatoes. Church Community Services distributed the fresh produce to county food pantries throughout the summer and fall.

But the grassroots effort to feed the poor did not end when it began to turn cold. Area farmers raised 30 acres of soybeans and 35 acres of corn, sold the crops and donated the money to CCS so pantries could buy vegetables over the winter.

Organizers hope to expand the program in 2013, but they deserve thanks for what they’ve done this year to feed Elkhart County’s hungry.

Finally, thanks to the Elkhart County organizations that sent volunteers to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Even a week later, the need is overwhelming.

To donate blood or give money, visit www.elkhartredcross.org or call 293-6519.


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