The Free Press, Mankato, MN


September 7, 2013

Shoe donation gives kids solid footing

Thumbs up to the YMCA’s recent ReShoe donation program that provided new or gently used mostly sports or tennis shoes for kids in need.

The Y collects the shoes and turns them over to Mankato Area Public Schools who make them available at gym classes. There are plenty of families in the district who need shoes, especially when children quickly grow out of them. The Y collected about 150-200 pairs of shoes last year and was aiming to generate more donations this year.

The Y also has been gathering donated backpacks and eye glasses as part of its social responsibility mission. It’s a small program that makes a big difference for kids and families who need something as simple as shoes to participate fully in school activities.

Kudos to the Y for organizing it and taking up the cause.

Walz, others rightly question Syria action

Thumbs up to U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, D-First District, and 139 other members of Congress who have asked President Barack Obama to consult with Congress before any military action is taken against Syria.

Walz said in a statement that “I have heard from many southern Minnesotans who are rightfully concerned about the justification for U.S. military action in Syria. While the use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians is unconscionable and there is a moral responsibility to defend the defenseless, we cannot rush into this decision.”

Walz met with constituents Friday in St. Peter to get more input. These kinds of serious actions that put our soldiers at risk should be thoroughly discussed.

Health plans, state help consumers

Thumbs up to the Minnesota health plans and the state for opening up information on the new state health exchange nearly a month ahead of the required date.

The plans and the state worked together to have health insurance products and prices available Friday, far ahead of the Oct. 1 starting date. This will give Minnesotans interested in the plans plenty of time to review prices, co-payments and provider networks involved in the plans sold on the exchange.

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