Though Christmas has passed, the need to express good will to all certainly has not.

That perhaps was never clearer than in Saturday's Letters to Santa special section. While most of the letters were happy and amusing in the sweet way only children can express, the Triplicate received plenty of posts that would cause all but the hardest of human hearts to despair.

One letter asked Santa why he didn't come to his house last year. Another asked that his mother, who lives in a Crescent City motel, be able to find a home. A third selflessly asked of Santa, andquot;This year for Christmas, I only want my mother to be happy.andquot;

Despite what the snake oil salesmen say, there is no magical, immediate cure to depression or poverty or drug addiction or any of a thousand other afflictions that humanity faces.

But there are cures. There are ways to finally toss the bottle, to break poverty's chains, to find contentment.

That requires a community, however, one that is focused on what matters most: creating economic opportunities, fighting addiction and being neighborly, especially in times of need.

It requires that we do not shun those in need or fall for the devilish fraud that people never change.

Indeed, it is false hope that we ever can fully turn away from those in need. Poverty breeds despair, abuse and addiction. Anger and drugs leads to crime. Thieves and vandals target those who have the very ones who could make a difference but sometimes instead turned away.

Many people in this county do help those in need, often every day. The Triplicate highlighted some of those organizations in our andquot;Holiday Helpersandquot; series, which ran the week of Dec. 12-16. All of those community members and many more who went unmentioned deserve applause for volunteering their time and dollars.

Even as Christmas has passed, another holiday is upon us, that of the new year. Fortunately, it is a holiday of resolutions, in which we try to make right the wrongs of our past year. May we suggest a resolution for all to make: That each of us take the steps necessary in the year ahead so no child in this county need write the despairing letters to Santa that some did this past month.



What should be done to address poverty and addiction in our community? Send a letter to the editor via e-mail: