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REACH OUT TO HELP AT CHRISTMAS

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As he switched on the national Christmas tree at the Washington Ellipse near the White House this week, President Bush said the "bells of freedom" ringing across Eastern Europe have given Americans "a Christmas that we've awaited for 50 years."

To celebrate this rise of freedom, the president had a sensible suggestion in keeping with the spirit of the season. He called for Americans to reach out to someone in need.While it is proper to rejoice with people in Eastern Europe over their emotional experience with newly emerging liberties, there is not much most Americans can do except cheer.

But there are people right at home who are enslaved by poverty, sickness and other needs. We can celebrate our own freedom and good fortune by helping them. One person doing something for one other person or family can ease a lot of pain and loneliness in the world.

For example, some 75 low-income Salt Lake area families, including more than 220 children, may not have a Christmas morning. That's how many there are in the Deseret News Santa's Helping Hand program who still do not have someone to help provide a happy Christmas. For adults it doesn't matter as much, but for children . . .?

The program features low-income families with children who are paired with individuals, families and organizations who provide toys, clothing and food and a proper Christmas.

Anyone who would like information can call the Deseret News, 237-2139 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and during business hours next week.

Go ahead, help a child, and be reminded once again what Christmas is really all about.