Love in a shoebox

I am writing to thank Elkhart residents for sharing the true meaning of Christmas with children in need this past holiday season.

Because of the generosity of donors in Elkhart and across the United States, Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, collected more than 8.8 million shoeboxes in 2018. Combined with those collected from partnering countries in 2018, the ministry is now sending more than 10.6 million shoebox gifts to children suffering from poverty, natural disasters, war, disease and famine.

These simple gifts bring smiles to the faces of children around the world. Packed with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items, these gifts bring joy and are a tangible expression of God’s love. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 157 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

It’s not too late for people to make a difference. Though drop-off locations serving Elkhart shoebox packers are closed until November, anyone can still pack a personalized shoebox gift online at samaritanspurse.org/buildonline. Information about year-round volunteer opportunities can also be found at samaritanspurse.org/volunteerwithOCC.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this global project – many who do so year after year. These simple gifts send a message to children worldwide that they are loved and not forgotten.

Dana Williams,

Operation Christmas Child,

Boone, North Carolina

Shutdown lessons

 Hallelujah! The partial shutdown is over – temporarily. We’ll see in a couple of weeks if anybody learned anything.

Obviously, several questions need to be addressed. If Trump thought the wall so important why didn’t the previous Congress allocate any money? The $1.6 billion that was allocated was designated for the repair and replacement of existing structures. Another question is why is the wall so important? Trump says it is to keep terrorists out of the U.S. Fine. However, twice as many terrorists enter the Canadian borders. Our border with Canada stretches 5,500 miles. Whereas, the Mexican border stretches just under 2,000 miles. Yet, the vast majority of our resources and rhetoric seems to be south. As to the question of terrorists, since 9/11 there have been more terrorist attacks perpetrated by American citizens than foreigners.

To be honest, these issues have been around for awhile. We can debate what Obama should or should not have done in these situations. However, Trump is the president. It’s all on him. Whether for good or ill, it’s Trump’s responsibility now. If he wants to take the credit, he should accept the blame as well. Trump’s not sure what he wants. He seems to say, give me the money and then we’ll figure what the wall looks like. That’s not how it should be. Hopefully, some consensus can be made concerning this issue and many others.

Brian Hartman,

Wakarusa

Cleark-treasurerat work

As a Goshen City Council representative and a taxpayer of Goshen, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude for the work Goshen City Clerk-Treasurer Angie McKee has done.

In just her first year as clerk-treasurer, Angie decided to consider changing the financial institute the city used for all of its financial accounts. After issuing a Request for Proposals and interviewing various banks, Angie selected local Interra Credit Union. As a result of Angie’s initiative, at the end of 2018, the city made just under $1 million in interest on the city’s various accounts that would not have been earned by remaining with the original financial institute – $1 million the city would not have had otherwise, $1 million costing the taxpayers nothing, $1 million the city will now have to help replenish the Rainy Day Fund or help pay for other much needed projects. Plus, we get to deal with a local financial institute that employs local residents. In addition, Angie recently requested our local insurance company put out bids for a new insurance carrier, saving Goshen city another $100,000.

Thanks again, Clerk-Treasurer McKee, for your initiative, and not just settling for the status quo.

Brett Weddell,

Goshen City Council President

(33) comments

sidearm

Well Joe, is that all you have? Remember Eric Holder and his Fast and Furious? I don't know anybody who could testify for thousands of hours without being trapped by a false statement.
Care to comment the rest of my post? Are you proud of infanticide? Are you going to be a happy little comrade when your socialist party is in charge? Why do you hate freedom so much Joe? What do you have against babies?

Joe King

What about, what about, but what about....you sound like a petulant child...1000s of hours...yeah right....Infantcide? Please, your spewing talking points without facts...show me anywhere and when doctors are killing infants...you used comrade and socialist in the same sentence showing you don’t know what your talking about, But referring to your socialist comment, yes, I like police, fire, the national defense, public schools...democratic socialism is working.... but but is really surprising is you didn’t mention anything about Clinton, or her emails, or the child sex slaves in the basement of a pizza parlor...lock her up right? Sad.

sidearm

Did I hit a nerve Joe? These questions will be front and center in 2020 and you won't answer them. Ignoring and demeaning me for asking them won't make them go away.

Joe King

Sidearm....Answer your questions? Really? You can't look them up? Here are the facts, in depth of Eric Holder...
https://www.cnn.com/2013/08/27/world/americas/operation-fast-and-furious-fast-facts/index.html

I am not even going to touch your claims of "infantcide", because they are insane. There isn't a single place in the US that does this...as you claim....prove it? Prove me wrong that someplace is killing infants.. Lock her up? Right? And Mexico is going to pay for a wall....still believe that?

concerned citizen

To common sense,

If the withholding amounts were reduced they should be in line with the tax rates, Therefore refunds should at the very least be equal to the amounts in prior years, not lower. And the selling point to the reform bill was the doubling of the standard deduction which would presumably make your refund larger. So as I see it the reason people's refunds are lower is because the tax rates increased. This is a case of what is not said is more important that what is said.

Patriot23157

My 2017 Adjusted Gross Income was 87,227 with 13,246 withheld and a tax of 8551. So my tax rate was 9.81%, my return was $4695. My 2018 Adjusted Gross Income was 87,387 with 9784 withheld and a tax of 7224. So my tax rate was 8.27%, and my return was $2560. So my tax rate was 1.54% less. Use your brain and put some facts out there, don't just run your mouth.

sidearm

Hey Concerned, yes I believe the witch hunt will result in nothing. Care to make a wager parrot?

Joe King

The witch hunt has already dropped houses on 34 people so far with 6 or 7 pleading guilty..I forget as that number changes..get higher with each conviction...so, yeah the witch hunt as you call it is working and catching criminals..bottom to the top

sidearm

Where is the collusion Joe? The case is falling apart, much like the Democratic party. I believe MaCabes recent interview will blow up the whole witch hunt as we discover this is an attempted coup involving many in the Justice Dept. Are you proud of that Joe?
Are you supportive of the Green New Deal or the killing of babies born alive. These are the questions you will all have to answer soon. I will sit back and watch as your party eats itself. Do you find it ironic that Amazon, run by avowed super liberal Jeff Bezos, pulled out of adding 25,000 jobs to NYC because of the more liberal AOC? You reap what you sew Joe and you guys are going to be reaping manure for quite some time.

Joe King

Sidearm....tick tock....working its way to the top..it takes time when all of the Presidents men are so corupt and so many... remember when this happened to Obama...yeah, me neither.... I love that trump is doing more harm and to discredit the gop than what you claim the democrats are....tick tock

Patriot23157

Yes, Yes, Yes. Obama has left wing activists in the DOJ and FBI that he used while in the White House, and were still there after he left. And boy could they drum up some charges, like using the IRS to single out Freedom Caucus Republicans because he didn't like them. And also he went after Dinesh D'Souza for making those documentaries that expose the Left for who they really are. Dinesh D'Souza donated $5000. to a college friends campaign, he had his wife donate $5000 and also told a few friends to donate and he would pay them back. So it was $20,000 in STRAW donations. He was charged with TWO felonies, charged a $30,000 fine, 8 months work realease, and FIVE years probation. Obama's 2008 campaign was found to have $1.8 million in illegal donations, they were fine a record $375,000, and no one was charged with anything. Do you see just a little bias here?

Joe King

Common Sense, when you can no longer take the deductions like before (student loan, mortgage interest, home business expenses, mileage, etc) it hits home....Already it being reported that the average American return is lower by 10%....many are finding they owe money because the withholding tables were off...The GOP and Trump tax scam is in full affect! Meanwhile, if you have a private jet, you can deduct that maintenance. The middle class was robbed by the GOP and Trump!

common sense

Do you know the details of tax reform or are you just assuming it's bad because it's Trump? The standard deduction was doubled which is a much bigger benefit to most middle class Americans than itemizing deductions. It also greatly simplifies the process of doing their taxes. You keep saying people's returns are lower - I assume you mean refunds and I already explained why they are lower. What would you rather do, get a big refund or pay less in taxes? Your answer will show if you understand this topic at all.

Joe King

Considering they came from Trump (who, as we will soon see probably hasn't paid any taxes in ___ years) is bad. But here is a quick list to name a few that you can no longer take... These will hurt the middle class and lower straight in the face....but if you own a corporate jet, you can deduct the maintenance cost... The standard $6,350 deduction.
Personal exemptions.
Unlimited state and local tax deductions.
A $1 million mortgage interest deduction.
An unrestricted deduction for home equity loan interest.
Deductions for unreimbursed employee expenses.
Miscellaneous itemized deductions.
A deduction for moving expenses.
Unrestricted casualty loss deduction.
Alimony deduction.
Deductions for certain school donations.
Deductions from tax extenders.

concerned citizen

It a shell game. Yes the standard deduction is doubled but the personal exemptions went away as did the deductions to which Joe referred. Also, the tax rates increased and the end result that most peoples refunds when comparing apples to apple were reduced. So refunds are lower not because taxes are lower. if that were the case by itself, given that withholdings are constant, then refunds would be higher not lower.

common sense

Standard deduction now $12,000 for an individual $24,000 for a married couple. This is a much better deal for most middle and low income people than the personal deductions they are losing. I notice you didn't answer my question - would you rather have a big refund or pay less in taxes?

common sense

CC, but withholding is not constant. Remember when the tax reform was implemented, most people saw less withholding from their weekly paycheck. I can vouch for this as I am paid a salary and my take home pay increased with the revised withholding tables. Wouldn't it follow that if they take less out of my weekly pay, the refund I will get will be lower? If you want the bigger refund you could adjust your withholding so they keep more of your money. Personally, I would rather have my hard earned money to use throughout the year rather than letting the govt. use it interest free.

Joe King

the 2017 tax reform eliminated or restricted many itemized deductions beginning in 2018 and raised the standard deduction. That means fewer taxpayers are likely to itemize. To answer your question. It doesn't matter, its your money...whether you have more now, or more later...its still yours... You clearly haven't a grasp for the middle class and lower and the struggles...You clearly haven't seen all the complaints posted online from people either owing money that they have NEVER done before or not getting a refund at all...Trump tax scam benefited the rich and corporations....but feel free to deduct the maintenance on your private plane...while the rest can't deduct our mileage or expenses... this has hit his supporters in the pocketbook...I am sure they will remember

common sense

Yes, fewer will itemize because the standard deduction is a better deal for them, they pay less tax that way as do most middle and lower income earners. Keep repeating the Dem talking points, even though not accurate they make you feel good. I'll take my deduction for my private jet that you seem to think I have. Actually, we're a middle class two-earner family who is thankful for the increased amount of our earned income we actually get to keep. I assume you would like a more Progressive system in which more of my income is redistributed to people like yourself.

sidearm

Of course he is, he is a parrot, Trump is bad.

concerned citizen

Hey Sidearm, I am now certain that you are a regular Fox fan and Rush fan and therefore you are fed only lies, half truths, and misleading information. Facts do not exist in that world.. That leads us to my point that you missed. trump wants a wall so the right wing media will push the tag lines to support that thought, even though it is hogwash. trump does not listen to the people who DO know the real life situation because it is not what he wants to hear. He did not listen to Tillersom and Mattis and Kelly and he is not listening to the security community. Do you really believe he is going to listen to the experts who tell him a wall is ineffective in today's world? Will Hurd, a GOP congressman in Texas, whose district includes the longest stretch of U.S. border states that a wall is an outdated method of security. The 31 jurisdictions that cover the entire U.S. border sent all of the sheriffs from those areas to meet with trump when he was in Texas but he blew them off. Would not a reasonable man want their input? So maybe it is you that needs to get over something, the fact that trump is an incompetent carnival barker with no idea of how to run the country. Oh, I almost forgot, he may not be able to complete his term let alone win in 2020 when Mueller releases his investigation report

sidearm

I think you are getting a little personal in your post here Concerned. Where I get the news is irrelevant, but it is obvious where you get yours. You sound like an over educated under achiever. Are you Joe Kings brother? The economy is booming, wages are rising and household income is up. Trumps plan was to shake up the same old same old way of doing things in Washington and he takes no prisoners, from either party. Produce or leave the job, no other options. Go back to your brainwashing students job and let the leaders lead and producers produce or just get out of the way. care to make a personal wager on Muellers report?

concerned citizen

Looks like I hit a nerve. You have no reply to my statement of facts about the wall so you pull out the GOP wingnut talking points that are all fluff. Yes the economy of doing well but trump inherited that. A trained monkey could have taken over the economy in 2017 and the economy would still be where it is today. You are right that trump was going to shake things up but he is too selfish to listen to the people who could help him do it correctly. The end result is a bully in a china shop. His behavior cost the GOP the House majority and most of the GOP senators up for re-election are scared to death. He has alienated our allies and ripped up treaties that have helped maintain the peace. You would know all this if you sought out other sources of information. Finally, do you realize that 8 of trump's closest associates have either been convicted or indicted for criminal violations? Then yesterday an investigation was launched into the trump inauguration committee activities for influence peddling. Next the House judiciary and oversight committee re-opened the investigation that Devin Nunes closed. Wonder why he closed it? Now today trump is threatening to veto all legislation presented to him if the Mueller investigation and the House investigation is not terminated. And I guess you remember trump fired Comey for his continuation of the investigation. Do you think this all adds up to nothing?

Joe King

Until you file your tax return and realize what trump said does affect you...returns are down across the majority or middle class... yet the rich are able to deduct the maintenance cost of their jets...there’s the gop and trump for you..wake up people, the problem is the republicans...

common sense

Joe, if refunds are down it's because people are actually paying less in taxes. It amazes me how many people don't get it. The refund you get isn't some sort of windfall or gift from the govt. It is a refund of the money you have overpaid to the govt. throughout the year. If the amount taken out of your paycheck each week throughout the year goes down then the amount you are overpaying should go down as well, hence a smaller refund. In the end you end up paying less in taxes. Many have been brainwashed to believe a big refund is a good thing. It's not, it just means you have allowed the govt. to use more of your money tax-free for the past year.

Patriot23157

And your story is full of half truths if not total fiction. Everything I wrote is factual including your front door.

concerned citizen

If half of my story is half untrue then the other half must be true. Please enlighten me with which of my words are not true.

Imalwaysright

Once again "concerned Goshen College Stooge" spouts off his left wing and very wrong tripe.

concerned citizen

In this case you are alwayswrong. I have no affiliation to Goshen College although it is an excellent school. Please tell the readers which of my statements are incorrect. Your reply will be very revealing

sidearm

Well Brian you aren't paying attention. The President is a leader and his people at the border, the men and women who really do know that walls work, are asking for them. It is his responsabiliry to protect America's borders and protect the American citizens period. It may make him unpopular but he is the leader and has to do the right thing, not whatever many be popular on any given day.

concerned citizen

Your nickname says it all. Regular Fox News viewer and right wing talk show listener who is filled with inaccurate information for the express purpose of furthering trump/s agenda. trump does not confer with any legitimate experts, did not speak to ANY of the 31 sheriffs of the border jurisdictions, and admitted he does not believe any of the technology the exits today. This is not about what sort of security we have as much as it is about an incompetent leader who is too insecure to admit he needs qualified advisors (as any President does) to arrive at the best solutions .

sidearm

Typical lib, when confronted with a different opinion you attack. You have no idea what my nickname means but I do not own a firearm and have never used one in my life. You seem to think you are an expert on the subject another typical lib syndrome. The Border patrol are asking for physical barriers, what part of that don't you understand. Even Obama wanted barriers. Get some Kleenex, put on your big boy pants and get over the fact that Trump won and will win again in 2020.

Joe King

Well said....

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.