December message and meeting info

The December 2010 meeting will be held on the 20th at 6:45pm at the Fitness and Wellness Center.

The Agenda includes a presentation from Thaler McCormick, CEO of ForKids, Inc.  She will present on her proposed thrift store in Wards Corner.

Here is President Jim English’s message for December, 2010:


Dear Neighbors,

Holiday Greetings to all. The holiday season is again here. It is a time for great anticipation, reflection and joy as all of us celebrate our own traditions and religions. It is also a time that we need to reflect on those in our community, city, nation and world who may not be celebrating a joyful season and reach out to them in whatever ways we can. This year, that is particularly the case for the unemployed who may see their benefits end if Congress does not extend them. Helping the shut-ins or needy is perhaps the best gift we can give. Thinking of those fighting a war in the far away Middle East and assisting their families is the best way we also as neighbors can support them. As we gather with our own families this holiday season let us not forget that there are those folks out there who may not be able to celebrate. They need our thoughts and prayers. A simple smile, hello or can I help you goes a long way to show them that someone cares. Let us also pray for all of our city, state and national leaders for responsible decision-making in the coming year.

I always like to use this time of year to talk about going “green” for the Holiday season. Undoubtedly this is the time of year of over consumption. If you are looking for some ideas on going “green” for this Holiday season I am again going to share with you some of those ideas that are circulating on the web. The following is taken from Go Green This Holiday Season: Have an Eco Friendly Christmas by © S. Elliott

“Christmas Cards that Protect the Environment
Let’s face it; most Christmas cards end up in landfill. They can be loving reminders to people far away, but this year why not consider sending e-cards to loved ones who have computers. That way you can send loving thoughts of the season while showing your love for the planet.

Holiday Wrapping Paper and the Environment
I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t had a moment’s pause when disposing of all of that wrapping paper the day after Christmas. What a waste. This year, why not try wrapping smaller gifts with fabric. There are thousands of Christmas fabrics available that can be cut with pinking shears (so they don’t ravel) and used to wrap smaller gifts.
These decorative wraps can be used year after year. The average bolt of cotton fabric is 42” to 45” wide, and many seasonal fabrics are very reasonably priced. Fabric makes a unique and impressive presentation when used to dress a gift, and it is also good for the environment. Or look for recycled and recyclable papers for gift-wrapping paper. Also try other ideas like giving baskets, reusable gift boxes and bags.

LED lights. Look for Christmas tree lights and outdoor lights that are LED. You will save on energy and get more hours of use from environmentally friendly LED light bulbs. Turn off lights when you’re not around.

LED Candles. Invest in a few LED candles to strategically place around the home. They are safer, last longer and don’t let off dangerous fumes, lead and etc.

Switch to Soy Candles. Soy candles are healthier and provide a “green” alternative, especially for the winter holiday season.

Don’t use disposable plastics. This year, if you’re inviting friends over for Christmas, forget the disposable plastics and Styrofoam. Use the real thing!

Recycling Bin. If you happen to use some supplies during the holidays that can be recycled, be sure to put a recycling in the room so people will use it, rather than throwing those items in the trash.

Buy Local at Christmas
It is a good practice to get into the habit of buying local. When you buy local seasonal produce or buy from local artisans, you are saving on packaging and transportation costs.

Your Christmas Tree
There is some controversy over whether an artificial or real tree is the most environmentally responsible way to go, but it is a sure bet that if you buy a living tree that you are planning on planting after the holiday, you’ll be doing the planet a favor.
When you shop for a living tree, select one that will grow in your area and can be kept in a pot outdoors until your ground thaws in spring. Plan on bringing your living tree indoors no more than a week before Christmas, and put it back outdoors right after Christmas. If you live in an apartment, or don’t have room in your yard for an evergreen, check into the option of donating it to a local rest home or children’s center after the holiday. If you opt for a cut tree, try to locate a lot that sells trees that are locally grown, and recycle it after the holiday.

Christmas Gifts

If you are buying electronic gifts to replace items in your home, dispose of old electronic components and batteries responsibly. Whenever possible, purchase gifts that are made from recycled materials or from retailers that support eco-friendly businesses.
Consider making a eco-aware donation on a gift recipient’s behalf this year. Teaching someone the value of giving is a great gift in itself.
Energy Awareness Over the Holidays
Cut back on your Holiday lighting. It’s tempting to want to share your Holiday spirit with the neighborhood, but consider the ways in which the energy might be better spent.
Use good energy conservation practices in your kitchen by monitoring your use of the oven and controlling how long you leave your refrigerator door open. This seems like a small thing, but waste adds up.
Holiday Food
Don’t buy more food than you can eat. Use leftover vegetables to make soup after the holiday. If you have extra, you might consider sharing by donating it to a local charity or soup kitchen.

Going green is an every day commitment, but you can make a start during the holidays. Give a gift to the planet and everyone who lives on it by being ecologically conscious.”

I hope to see you at our December 20th meeting as we will have representatives from ForKids who will discuss their plans to open a Thrift Store in the business district of Wards Corner. We need you there to hear this and voice your concerns or support for this venture. We all need to ask and answer the question: “Is this the best type of business we want in Wards Corner?” We also will have updates on the Collins Project on Newport Avenue.

Finally, from my family to yours, please have a safe and enjoyable holiday season with the best of wishes for a prosperous New Year.


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