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Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

To everyone who planned Santa’s visit to Albert Lea this week.

Hats off to the Albert Lea Main Street Program and all of the others who played a part in helping the visit from Santa Claus be a big success in downtown Albert Lea Thursday evening.

Whether it was the city of Albert Lea’s Parks and Recreation Department, the Police Department for providing help with traffic, the Freeborn County Historical Museum for allowing Santa to use its sleigh or sponsors Farmers State Bank, Lou-Rich and Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services, each played a part in helping this event run smoothly.

All you had to do was drive near the North Broadway parking lot Thursday night and see all the cars to know the impact this event had on Albert Leans. In a time where many events are canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was great to have an event where people could enjoy a safe alternative. And, of course, anything that benefits children in Albert Lea is a huge plus.

Thank you to all who donated their time and resources to make this event possible. You make our community a better place to live and are helping keep the spirit of the season alive.

 

 

To the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce’s new initiatives on mental health.

Thank you to the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce and several other community partners for expanding the chamber’s benefits to include initiatives revolving around mental health and resiliency.

It could not be a more important time for these initiatives to take place amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing uncertainty in the world and nation.

We hope businesses will take advantage of the new training opportunities and the new committee started to help human resources staff and others learn risk factors and warning signs of mental health concerns and to give strategies on how to help someone with those challenges.

Chamber Executive Director Shari Jenson received certification to teach the training to chamber members at no cost.

Thank you to Jenson for seeing a need and making this a priority, and we hope it will be beneficial to all who get involved.

 

 

To everyone participating in the season of giving.

We have been impressed to see many simple acts of kindness happening the last few weeks throughout the community.

Whether it’s Hy-Vee donating doughnuts to staff at all of the area care facilities, the Glenville American Legion donating snacks to the Glenville-Emmons School district or the Albert Lea American Legion assisting with the purchase of new patrol flags and vests for the student safety patrol program at Hawthorne Elementary School, it has been heart-warming to see.

There’s people donating their time to ring bells for the Albert Lea Salvation Army, a family who donated money from a gift certificate to the Albert Lea Police Department for officers to use for breakfast and another local family who has donated a cake every month on the 11th to the Albert Lea Fire Department since 9/11.

Several organizations are continuing to gather coats and other winter gear to help residents throughout the community.

These are only a few that we’ve been able to gather in a few minutes time.

We encourage others, too, to join in this spirit of giving if you are not already. You will find you will have fun, feel happy in your heart and bring smiles to others.