-- — THUMBS UP: To the spirit of giving of the Valdosta-Lowndes County community. The Greater Valdosta United Way is far below where it needs to be but donations are still coming in for the organization and donors have set a record for giving this year for the Valdosta Daily Times and Guardian Bank Empty Stocking Fund. Bless everyone for their generosity.
THUMBS UP: To all the newly sworn in officials who took their oaths of office Thursday. May the spirit of wisdom, cooperation, intelligence, and fairness guide your decisions in the coming year. It takes a lot of fortitude to seek public office, and you should all be commended for accepting this tremendous responsibility.
THUMBS UP: To Keep Lowndes/ Valdosta Beautiful for once again hosting Bring One for the Chipper. The annual event allows city and county residents the opportunity to bring their live Christmas trees to one of several collection sites to be recycled. The group is also handing out live tree seedlings on Saturday, Jan. 5 to those who bring in their trees that day.
THUMBS DOWN: To those who committed an act of arson, destroying the 129 year old Ousley Temple church Christmas morning. This historic church had stood the test of time and was reduced to rubble by an apparent criminal act. Although the building is gone, the church remains through its members, and they are determined to come back from this awful tragedy.