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The Newberg Graphic's readers weigh in on issues ranging from immigration to a popular Christmas giving program

Operation Christmas Child a success due to the kindness of residents

To the editor:

I am writing to thank Newberg residents for sharing the true meaning of Christmas with children in need this past holiday season.

Because of the generosity of donors in Newberg and across the United States, Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan's Purse, collected more than 8.8 million shoeboxes in 2018. Combined with those collected from partnering countries in 2018, the ministry is now sending more than 10.6 million shoebox gifts to children suffering from poverty, natural disasters, war, disease and famine.

These simple gifts bring smiles to the faces of children around the world. Packed with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items, these gifts bring joy and are a tangible expression of God's love. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 157 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

It's not too late for people to make a difference. Although drop-off locations serving Newberg shoebox packers are closed until November, anyone can still pack a personalized shoebox gift online at www.samaritanspurse.org/buildonline. Information about year-round volunteer opportunities can also be found at www.samaritanspurse.org/volunteerwithOCC.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this global project — many who do so year after year. These simple gifts send a message to children worldwide that they are loved and not forgotten.

Dana Williams, Operation Christmas Child

A different outlook on migrant question

(Editor's note: This letter is in response to a guest column by Pacific University emeritus professor Russ Dondero that ran recently in the Newberg Graphic).

I understand the professor's points from someone that lives in Oregon and maybe lived some in Mexico. I grew up in Arizona and spent 55 of my years there. I have a totally different outlook on it.

Having open borders provides large companies with cheap labor and horrible working conditions and benefits. Visit the cattle ranchers in Patagonia to see how they feel about no fences.

My father worked as an enginner for the railroad that went along the border from El Paso, Texas to Lordsberg, N.M. It got to the point where they didn't stop when the engine hit them because it was so far to stop and so many. Oh forgot .. there was no fence.

There is a legal way -- try that!

If you have a fence around your home take it down and publish you address to those in Mexico so you can provide them free room, board and health care.

As a veteran I don't get what I was promised, but you feel I should pay for them and people like you still dishonor veterans.

Robert Griffin, McMinnville

Praise the school district for increase in graduation rat

e

To the editor:

Please remind your readers that it's time to heap praise on the Newberg School District.

Consider: Newberg's graduation rate, 83.99 percent (Jan. 30 Newberg Graphic), better than the statewide average.

Consider:  The district's financial situation has stabilized (Feb. 6 Newberg Graphic).

Good news, yes. However, it pales into insignificance given that all district personnel flatly refuse to believe that those gains are acceptable. They are not interested in maintaining the status quo. Rather, they are determined to view such good news as a springboard to continued improvement.

Next time you speak to any Newberg schools' staff member, look 'em directly in the eye, flash a genuine smile, and say, "Well done, you."

Geoff Godfrey, Newberg

It's time to stop enabling the homeless in Oregon

To the editor:

Oregon, what the heck is going on with our state? Why do we have all these homeless people camped everywhere? Along all our freeways, streets and even on the sidewalks of cities.

There was a time when you only saw a few people in the Burnside Street area passed out in a doorway — not camped there. Everyone else that were considered homeless were hidden out of site near trains, bridge areas and the like. And they never stood on every street corner with their permanent cardboard signs. They were not a burden on society as we now know it. Yes, they went to the well-provided soup kitchens and received hot food and help if needed.

All the while we are looking at all this mess when you enter Portland, Salem, etc.

But never do you see anything like this in Washington along the freeways and streets. Take a look and try to find them on I-5 or 1-205 while driving to Vancouver.

There never seems to be anything visible over there. Why is that? What does the state of Washington do different? Maybe enforce the laws better. Maybe they do not allow camping on public property. Maybe they do not give out all the free handouts that we do. And maybe they do not advertise all the freebies as much to promote the use of them.

Oregon, let's take a long hard look at what we do and how we do it to help people I need. Let us not work harder to enable them, but maybe to get them to work for themselves and quit living off us. Make the ones that like to live that way do it somewhere else rather than helping them live that way.

We just tend to help them with their ways of life and drugs by giving more handouts. And when they do not get it from us they tend to take it by theft.

Oregon, we do not need this. Stand up and make them be a productive part of society rather than a drain and disgrace.

Roger Currier, Newberg

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