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Thanksgiving 'dinner' was cooked on my old Coleman stove

To The Laconia Daily Sun,

On November 26 at 1:30 a.m., my wife and I thought we had been struck with a bolt of lighting. As it turned out, a soft birch tree had fallen on the lines that carried our three services, power-TV-phone. It was reported immediately to PSNH, MetroCast and FairPoint. In addition to taking out our lines, the tree fell on the cars of two daughters and our granddaughter. One car had thousands of dollars in damage and the other a lesser amount. We all go out and started to clear the tree with loppers and saws and welcomed the arrival of our son and his chainsaw. We finally cleared the tree so that the wires could be reconnected.

Thanksgiving "dinner" was cooked on my Coleman stove on the back porch. It still worked after not being used for years. We only had a small fireplace for heat. Over three days, the house cooled down so much that the temperature in the garage was down to 38 degrees. (The garage is under the house.) That night I went to bed wearing a hooded sweatshirt. I hadn't had to do that since being in the scouts and family camping.

Thanksgiving dinner with the family had been postponed to Saturday at our daughter's in Goffstown. It was  great that we could absorb some of the heat of her home become coming home. On arrival, there were lights on in the house. A PSNH repair crew had reconnected the power to the pole. Our sigh of relief was short-lived. They had to return Monday because a wire had slipped out of the connector on the house. So far, so good.

A couple of days later, the wiring for the TV was reattached at the house. Service had not been interrupted because the wire had had enough slack in it and was able to absorb the shock of the tree. As far as our phone lines are connected we have not had local, long distance, and computer access to the Internet. I have had a cell phone for emergency calls, ect. During this time I have had a "Part D" prescription problem which I have been trying to resolve since November 10. Having to use my cell phone all this time I have put in four times the amount of money that it would normally have cost. In order to compensate minimizing phone use, I have driven around enough that I used up and equivalent amount of gas.

It's unfortunate that both parties in the FairPoint negotiations have not been able to call a temporary truce, get their butts in gear and care of "their" customers. Recently, there was a little clip on TV that I wish they all might have seen. If they had, all of us that have this problem would be up and running. It was about a point, during WWI, that German and American soldiers called a TRUCE, at Christmas. To celebrate the birth of Christ. Can it be that they were more intelligent in that time? Seems that "compromise" is a dirty word these days.

Other than working through being hit by two different cars, in two weeks, where both impacted the same point on the car — as it was parked in the same place, I believe that this too will pass.

P.S. - Two weeks to the day, there is a technician reconnecting our phone line. All is well, again. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to tall!

Fred Mason


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98% of your contribution to Neighbors in Need goes to assistance

To The Daily Sun,

How can you tell if your contributions to a charity or non-profit really makes a difference in the community that you live? Actually, there are a variety of ways that many donors make this judgment.

Of course, one of the time-honored ways is measuring how much of your contribution actually gets to the people you want to help or how much is eaten up in administrative and fund-raising costs. A good percentage is around 75 percent. An excellent measure would be 85 percent.

The Neighbors in Need program? The record shows 98.2 percent of every dollar donated goes directly to assist your neighbors. How can we achieve that? Well, there's no staff; so no wages or salaries. We don't have a building; so no rent, no utilities, no heat, no maintenance. No fund-raising events or promotions; so no fund-raising costs. No cost for paper, stamps, etc.; so no office expense. Our only non-program expenses is the fees the state of New Hampshire charges us to maintain our non-profits status. So, out of every dollar you donate to our program, 98 cents goes directly to your neighbors who are in financial need.

Another measure you could use is how much of your contribution stays "home" rather than going outside your community. Do a percentage of the dollars you donate go to national organizations or to people living somewhere else in the country or the world. Neighbors in Need? The 98 cents mentioned above stays right here in the Lakes Region, to folks you probably pass by in the local grocery store, the local bank, the local gas station.

Do your donations actually impact on people's lives? If you donated to the Neighbors in Need program this year, you helped a severely handicapped man get a much needed hearing aid. If you sent us a check this year, you made it possible for an elderly woman get her wheelchair fixed so that she could make her doctor's appointments. You helped a Belmont single mom who working and raising two children to buy some more oil to heat her apartment during last year's severe winter.

You helped a grandmother in Laconia pay to fix her car so she could continue to transport her medically complex grandchild. Your dollars helped a family of six in Gilford pay out-of-pocket expenses for colostomy supplies as they had not met her Medicaid spend-down amount. You matched the meager savings of a single woman on disability and helped her buy a car to replace the one that was no longer repairable.

So, if you contribute to Neighbors in Need, 98 percent of every dollar goes to make a major impact on the lives of your neighbors in your towns or city in the Lakes Region. If you haven't supported us in the past, won't you consider a gift no matter how small. We would really appreciate your consideration of a monthly or quarterly donation, as the need continues throughout the year.

If you want more information about Neighbors in Need, just give me a call (494-0482), send a letter, or send an e-mail (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays to all in the Lakes Region.

Bill Johnson, President

Neighbors in Need


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