The Dothan Eagle on Alabama’s remaining coronavirus relief funds:

The State of Alabama has spent about half of the $1.7 billion in coronavirus relief funds it received earlier this year. The remainder must be used before the end of the year; otherwise, it goes back to the federal government.

State officials must not leave that money on the table.

There are myriad ways in which those funds can be put to use.

Thousands of Alabamians are still suffering from work reduction and job loss, and there’s scant hope that Congress will pass another stimulus anytime soon.

Alabama businesses have suffered from coronavirus pandemic-fueled revenue losses.

Hospitals and clinics are stressed from increased patient loads due to the virus.

There is a need for more personal protective equipment, testing supplies, laboratory capacity.

Many agencies across the state have written the governor’s office with suggestions, reminding Gov. Kay Ivey that Alabama is one of the poorest states in the country, with 800,000 residents living in poverty “before this pandemic devastated the economy.

“If Alabama had no needs made worse by the pandemic and the resulting recession, then we would say, ‘Yeah, return the money to the feds.’ But Alabama has very real, immediate needs. We still have people unemployed. We have some of the lowest unemployment benefits in the nation,” said Carol Gundlach, a policy analyst with Alabama Arise.

To her credit, Ivey is working to get the federal funds where they’re needed.

“Gov. Ivey remains focused on getting this money in the hands of those who need it,” said Ivey spokesperson Gina Maiola.

That’s welcome news. Failing to do so is unconscionable.

Kingsport (Tennessee) Times-News on supporting charities this holiday season:

As families gather during the holidays to share food and gifts, one of the enduring pleasures of the season is to give unto others. Seldom has the need been so great.

The pandemic has cost many their livelihoods and left them dependent, not just for food but for health needs and those many other things we take for granted as we go about our lives. It is painful to imagine children living without what most of us have, but they do.

More than any holiday season in recent memory, this year calls us to do all we can to help those who are unable to help themselves.

Open your wallet as best you can and give of yourself to the extent you can. Americans have always looked out for one another, especially in this region known for its caring, generous spirit.

Among the many organizations that also come to the rescue of the needy is the Salvation Army. They are expecting an unprecedented 155% increase in the demand for holiday services this year and are asking America to help “Rescue Christmas” for neighbors in need. More than anything else, the Salvation Army needs monetary donations to support its several Christmas programs.

But there are other ways you can help it help others.

At the moment, the Salvation Army needs support for its Red Kettle Drive, which raises funds that go toward several initiatives including sheltering, financial emergency assistance, and the Angel Tree program.

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