Our view: Thumbs up, Thumbs down
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Thumbs down to a severe lack of serious snow. Not only is Mother Nature impacting area businesses that depend on the white stuff for part or much of their winter income, she’s also putting a serious crimp in the season for those who want to be outside sledding, snowmobiling, skiing, snow-shoeing and making snow angels. Pretty please, powers that be, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Thumbs up to the two (we presume they are two) anonymous donors who gave gifts to the school children of Cloquet over the past month. To the person who pays for all the first- and second-graders as well as all the developmentally cognitively disabled students in every grade to go to the movies, we hope the happy time you make possible for those young people comes back to you tenfold. And to the person who recently donated $25,000 to Washington School (with the stipulation that each classroom get $1,000 and the money be used for the direct benefit of the students) we hope every one of those students will see some benefit from your generous gift. Better yet, we hope that you will be able to witness some of those young minds blossom and know that your gift played a role in that. Thank you to both of you, whoever you are.
Thumbs downto the fact that our country – still among the wealthiest in the world – is in a crisis of homelessness and hunger. Homelessness is growing everywhere, including Carlton County where we don’t have a homeless shelter so folks have few options. We may not be able to solve this problem nationally, but wouldn’t it be great if we could create a place where families and individuals with no place to turn could go?
Finally, thumbs up to the culture of giving that is part of Cloquet. Businesses (such as Sappi, which gives each employee 24 hours of volunteer time) are generous with money and time, so are individuals. I witnessed that personally on Saturday ringing bells with my young sons in the entrance to Cloquet’s L&M store. Not everyone donated – too bad those red kettles don’t take debit card donations – but a lot managed to find some cash. One man came back in from his car with $5, and another gave a pile of change (and quarters to the boys) both on the way in and the way out of the store. On Tuesday, four Cloquet High School seniors brought gifts they purchased with donations from the whole student body. They were justifiably proud of their generous student body and the difference their gifts will make come Christmas Day for someone who otherwise might not find anything under the tree. As the Salvation Army’s Jackie Meyer said, “Our community, Carlton County, is one of the richest giving communities.”