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Tough times are tougher on some

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By The Staff

For most of us, when we leave our jobs we drive home in one of our two cars to a comfortable home. We turn on one of our many TV sets or radios and listen to news telling us just how bad the economy has become.

I suspect for the larger percentage of us, the so called economic down-turn simply means a decline in our comfort level.  For me personally, I have a few hundred dollars less on my paycheck each month due to a corporate imposed furlough day each month.  With price increases and less money coming in my family has fewer dollars to spend so we don’t buy as many snacks at the grocery, we go to the theater less often, we only dine out twice a month and we stopped buying video games for the kids.  We aren’t doing without; we have simply seen a decline in the level of comfort that we have so long enjoyed.  At the end of the day we still have a warm home, food to eat, cars to drive and so on. Recently I was reflecting on these family budget changes and I realized most of people I know have grown accustomed to comfortable Middle American lifestyles and have forgotten there are many people in our communities that have been struggling for years.    Long before the news of the economic down turn or the drop in our 401K’s, some families have been struggling to make ends meet.  These folks probably don’t have a 401k, two or more cars or many of the other luxuries my family considers to be part of normal lifestyle. I wonder.  If my family has had to make a few adjustments in purchasing luxury items, what adjustments have needy families been forced to make?  Are they skipping meals, are they living under the threat of eviction?   After discussing my thoughts with my family, we became humbled and a bit shamed for belly aching and feeling sorrow for ourselves As a family we have pledged to be more considerate and give beyond our normal church and charitable contributions.  We plan to give at least fifty dollars a month to a social service organization that helps people in need by food and pay expenses.  I would like to challenge all our readers to make a similar commitment if you are able.   The views expressed in this column are those of the writer.