[EDITORIALS]The season for giving

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[EDITORIALS]The season for giving

With the start of the last month of the year comes the time to think of those who are in need. The Community Chest of Korea cut the ribbon on Dec.1 by embarking on a "concentrated charity donation raising campaign." The ringing bells of the Salvation Army resonate through the cold air, urging people to look at the red charity pots. International organizations like the United Nations Children's Fund are selling cards to raise money. This year, more people are waiting for help from us. Typhoon Rusa left thousands of flood victims in despair and homeless, children are in hunger and disabled people suffer from poverty.

But efforts to help others have not overcome the chilly winds in the streets. The "love thermometer tower" set up in front of City Hall to record donations from Koreans remains stuck at the bottom. The "thermometer" measures donations to charity movements such as "Love Berry," charity pots, fund raising through automated telephone response systems or charity donations at freeway toll gates. The temperature on the thermometer is only 2 degrees. According to the Community Chest of Korea, as of Friday a total of 1.3 billion won ($1.1 million) had been raised. The situation is a little better than last year, when the thermometer, which goes up 1 degree per 1 percent of the target of 67.7 billion won, was still at zero. But we wonder if there is enough love in our hearts to meet the goals.

Flood victims have to weather the cold winter in containers, children have to endure hunger in the period where their bodies and minds have to grow, disabled persons suffer from both poverty and physical disability -- they are our neighbors and are in desperate need of our help. It is the responsibility of those who are comfortable to plant the seed of hope so they can face tomorrow with courage.

Let us put our love and care in the charity boxes that we see on the streets. If you don't see them, then call the automated response system numbers that appear on your TV screen.

Let's show the less fortunate that we are there for them -- we are the ones.
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