Terry’s Columns Thanksgiving — and beyond

Thanksgiving — and beyond

By Terry Savage on November 23, 2023

At this time of year the headlines are filled with “holiday shopping deals” as stores advertise the best prices on everything from clothing to electronics. Your in-box is filled with “flash sales” on brands you’ve shopped before. And personal finance columns remind you of the dangers of credit card debt, to be repaid with high interest rates in the year ahead.

So, it’s easy to overlook the plight of so many Americans just hoping to keep the heat on and a roof over their heads, not only in the holiday season but year-round. It’s tempting to say there are government benefits available and that no one truly “starves.” But millions go hungry and cold. Yes, there are shelters — but even the hungry poor fear their few possessions will be stolen as they sleep.

So, as we enter this holiday season of celebration, please stop and look inward. Are you doing your part to alleviate pain and suffering? If you hate government intrusion in your life, are you becoming part of the private sector outreach solution? What, exactly, are you doing to extend the holiday spirit to those who need it most? And what are you teaching your children?

Give Money!
You don’t have to be creative to be helpful. In fact, money gifts go a long way, when distributed properly. To find a charitable organization that is truly effective and efficient, go to CharityNavigator.org to search for a well-run cause you want to support.

Then, just make the contribution. Or make several contributions. It’s easy. You won’t get a tax deduction unless you itemize your tax return, but that isn’t the point. Your real benefit is the warm feeling that you get from making a difference in someone’s life.

Give Time
Please do not flop on the couch after the turkey is eaten, and the presents have been opened, and complain about being “stuffed.” Instead, volunteer to cook and serve meals at your local shelter. Work up an appetite – and have your own celebration the following day.

And it’s not just the holiday season when these institutions need your help. Does your family make a commitment to do one “good thing” on one day every month? Do your children learn values by watching you make a personal effort to help others? This is the season to make a start at that lesson – a perfect family gift.

Give your Voice
It’s tempting to feel the problems are so huge you can’t do anything to help. That’s a mistake. Pick a charitable cause that matters to you – and raise your voice.

Personally, I’ve taken on a huge and seemingly intractable cause: the ongoing abuse of the elderly and disabled by the Social Security system. If you’ve seen my new co-authored book, and its companion website – www.SocialSecurityHorrorStories.com— you can read of the abuse dished out by a system that has completely lost control of its ability to calculate and distribute benefits earned by retirees.

They make huge mistakes, going back many years, and then even reach out beyond the grave to claw back benefits to children of deceased recipients! They stop depositing current benefits without the required hearing, terrorizing seniors and deflecting all attempts at communication.

Notably, fixing Social Security’s current abuse of more than two million Americans is not a political issue. This cruelty crosses all political lines, and can be fixed by the Social Security Trustees and Congress without legislation under the “equity and good conscience” requirement of the Agency’s charter.

There’s a link on our website to find and contact your Congressional representatives and the Trustees to demand an immediate stop of clawbacks, immediate restoration of benefits, and an 18-month statute of limitations on clawbacks.

Please join us in demonstrating the impact of Americans’ collective voice. And you’re welcome to use those links to communicate with your representatives on any issue of choice. Instead of standing helpless before political chaos, the best holiday gift is to raise our collective voice and let our government know what we care about. And that’s The Savage Truth!



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