Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 8:50 pm Friday, December 2, 2022

To Ellen Kehr, who retired this week as organization lead for the Blue Zones Project in Albert Lea.

Thanks to Albert Lean Ellen Kehr, who helped usher in many improvements to the city since the Blue Zones Project came to town 13 years ago. 

Under the Blue Zones Project philosophies, Albert Lea’s downtown was revitalized, South Broadway was redesigned, bike lanes were put in place, and many miles of new sidewalks and shared user paths have been installed. There has also been a lot of work done in the schools and in the various worksites and in reducing tobacco use in the community, among other initiatives. 

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We thank her for her dedication to this cause and for being such a strong cheerleader of Albert Lea. 

We are grateful to have people like Kehr in Albert Lea who give so much to better the community and wish her the best in the coming years. We have no doubt she will continue to be active in community efforts.

To volunteer bell-ringers.

Hats off to the people volunteering this holiday season to ring bells and raise money for the Albert Lea Salvation Army’s annual red kettle campaign. 

Whether it’s people representing a business, service club or organization, or someone ringing as an individual, every bit counts.

This year’s Christmas campaign goal is $230,000, with $116,000 of that coming from the kettles. 

The money raised helps the Salvation Army provide services throughout the year, whether it be the food pantry, the meal site, rental or emergency assistance or some other kind of help.

Many people in the community benefit from these services in a normal year, but in a time of rising costs and high inflation, we think it’s safe to say there are more who will be asking for help this year. 

To the work of all those who are collecting coats and other clothing to help people stay warm this winter.

It is heartwarming to hear how the community comes together at this year to help people struggling to stay warm through various collection efforts, such as the winter gear drive and distribution taking place with the United Way and the efforts underway with Jack Frost’s Closet. 

It is no small effort to organize these efforts, and we appreciate all who dedicate their time and energy to do so. 

In turn, we are touched to hear all who answer the call for help by these organizations, who go through their closets and donate gently used coats or who use their personal resources to purchase new coats when there may be a shortage. 

Thank you for taking care of your friends and neighbors and for sharing that goodwill with others around you. 

We hope that spreads throughout the community and that others may continue to be a light to others who may be struggling in one way or another this season.