Friday’s Weekend Column
What Is Good In America?

by James Glaser
October 15, 2004

I will tell you. What is good in America, is the American people. Washington is a place of division, but out in the country from Maine to California, North to South, and in the Heartland people are helping each other every day.

There are church groups. Fraternal groups like the Elks Lodge, the Eagles, Masonic Lodge, Moose Lodge, the Lions, and the Odd Fellows. Service organizations like the VFW and the American Legion, AMVETS, Blind Vets, Paralyzed Vets. All of these groups are out there helping their communities and neighbors.

Here in our area we have something called Santa's Mitten Maids. They raise money in our local community and get Christmas presents for children who would never get one. This is for hundreds of kids and these ladies knit a pair of mittens for every child. In northern Minnesota, a good pair of warm mittens is appreciated.

Our VFW every year buys extra fruit from the Future Farmers of America at the High School and then we give out fruit baskets to many of our older citizens.

Almost every town in America has a Food Shelf to make sure no one is going hungry. This isn't government sponsored, but supported by individuals, foundations, and local groups. Usually this is a short time help for people in crisis. Now that I think about it, motorcycle groups have Food Shelf Runs, and even some bars will give you a dollar off their cover charge if you bring a can good for the food shelf.

America is a good country in spite of its Government. There are groups all over this country that are helping people in foreign lands. There are American Church groups that dig water wells for people in third world nations. Our own Northome Library sends books over to Russia.

Doctors from all over this nation spend time in third world countries helping the poor. New Americans send money "home" to relatives who are still living in mud floor shacks. Many American cities adopt a "Sister City" and do good works through that program.

The American citizen makes this country great. While Washington is out trying to help other countries get their freedom by bombing them back to the stone age, the American public is out there doing "good works."

Americans care about their neighbors here at home and neighbors thousands of miles away. That is why we are a great country. That is why, all over this globe, people will tell you that they like the citizens of the United States, but they don't like our Government in Washington. We, you and I, are what keeps most terrorists out of here. Our good works fight terrorism better than any bomb can.

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