Letters to the Editor
We welcome letters to the Editor, a chance for members of the community to comment on issues of concern to them. All letters must be original, not duplications of letters addressed to public officials or written by others. The views and opinions expressed are those of the letter writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of this publication, its publishers, Editor, or staff. PLEASE NOTE: Our Letter to the Editor Policy has been updated (please read below) as of Feb. 5, 2024.
To the Editor:
Thank you to the citizens of Merrill and surrounding communities! You have once again shown your generosity and concern for those in need. In 2023, you donated a total of 99,739 items that were sold in the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store here in Merrill. All of the profits from these sales were used to support the Outreach Program which provides emergency assistance to those in need in our community when no other help was available.
This included $19,413 for short term housing (when other resources were filled), $55,946 for rental payments to prevent eviction and homelessness, $28,715 for utilities to prevent disconnection of heat/electricity, and $44,040 for other miscellaneous emergencies. Without the store profits and generous donations, 376 households in our community would have faced extremely difficult situations.
We also wish to thank the 20,476 Thrift Store customers who purchased the items which were donated. The store (and our efforts to help others) would not be successful without your patronage. We hope you will continue to shop with us and enjoy the sales and promotions planned for the coming year.
If you have not donated items to the store, we hope you will consider helping us to help others. All donations are tax deductible. If you have not shopped with us, we invite you to come in and see the variety of items we have for sale at greatly discounted prices.
Thanks again for all your support!
– Thomas Mueller
St. Vincent de Paul Conference Member
To the Editor:
Random Act of Kindness day is Feb. 17, 2024, and it is a day to celebrate kindness and the whole pay-it-forward mentality. The movement of Random Acts of Kindness inspires people every day. Not only do the acts of kindness bring joy to the receiver, but they spread positive reactions to the giver too! You may not always see the results of your kindness, but every bit of positive energy you contribute to the world, makes it a better place for all of us. Please practice kindness every day.
– Jan Leschke
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR POLICY:
- Letters must be 250 words or less. (There will be no exceptions to this. Any letter longer than 250 words will not be printed.)
- The writer must include their full name, complete address, and a phone number where he/she can be easily reached for verification. Phone numbers and street addresses will not be published, but will be used for verification purposes, if necessary. Letters must be signed and the name, city, and state will be printed.
- Letters may be edited for style, grammar, and length.
- We retain complete discretion to determine whether a letter is printed. The First Amendment right to free speech protects speech from government control; it does not give people the right to have their views published in a privately-owned newspaper, or anywhere else for that matter.
- We will not accept letters that make controversial or unsubstantiated claims. This is because we are liable for any false claims we publish, regardless of the source of the claim. Form letters or those we determine to be libelous or slanderous will not be accepted. Any letter deemed derogatory, inflammatory, or involving vulgar language will not be published. We reserve all rights to reject material submitted to this publication.
- Letters will be published on a “first come, first served” basis. Any letters which we are unable to publish in the printed newspaper may be run online at www.merrillfotonews.com and/or may be printed in the paper at a later date.
- In fairness to all, and due to space constraints, there is a limit of two letters per year from an individual writer. Additional letters may be submitted to our Paid Letters to the Editor column and will require payment in full prior to publication at the same rate as Political Letters to the Editor (see policy below).
POLITICAL LETTERS TO THE EDITOR POLICY:
- Letters to the editor on political issues, with or without a candidate endorsement, including those submitted as an endorsement for a political candidate, referendum, or political agenda will carry the same guidelines as above; however, they will be charged $40.00 per letter of up to 250 words in length plus $10.00 per additional 100 words.
- All political letters must be prepaid prior to printing.
- Letters to the Editor will not be accepted from candidates running for election or representatives of an organization endorsing their own referendum, as these are clearly advertisements and not opinion letters; those submissions will be referred to our Advertising Department to be run as paid ads.