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Newspaper spotlights those making a difference

April 16, 2006|By LINDA DUFFIELD

They work with at-risk youngsters, teach senior citizens how to use computers, plant trees or build ramps so those with handicaps can remain in their homes.

They are retirees, firefighters, high school and college students, paramedics, a doctor and concerned citizens.

You can read about them in Making A Difference, The Herald-Mail's annual supplement, which will be packaged with next Sunday's newspaper. Some of the stories will be found on the front page of that same paper.

Making A Difference profiles people from across the Tri-State area who give of themselves and their time, in one way or another, to improve the lives of others.

They are, for the most part, unsung heroes.

It's inspiring to read the stories of the men and women of all ages who share their knowledge, experience, skill and time without expecting to be rewarded.

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Too often, they go unrecognized, and that's the way many of them want it. They aren't doing what they do to get their names in the paper or their pictures taken.

Making A Difference is our attempt to give some recognition to those folks.

And perhaps reading the individual stories in Making A Difference will encourage others to find a way to help someone else.

Starting April 27, The Herald-Mail will once a month devote a portion of a section of the newspaper to senior citizens.

Young At Heart, as we're calling these pages, will be geared to those who are approaching retirement age, as well as to those who already are retired.

It is our hope that our readers will find these pages informative, entertaining and interesting.

Each month, we'll tackle an issue being faced by senior citizens. Some of the topics will be on the serious side, such as how to plan for long-term care. Others will be on the lighter side, detailing ideas for vacations for those older than 50.

Young At Heart also will include columns, a glimpse at a retiree who volunteers and, this month, a feature story about a Shepherdstown, W.Va., man who at the age of 75 is about the head off on a 500-mile bicycle trip across his native Iowa.

The Young At Heart pages replace Silver Spirit, a tabloid that ran inside the newspaper every three months.

That publication was designed for those who already have retired. But many of us who are approaching retirement have questions and informational needs that weren't being addressed by Silver Spirit.

Young At Heart will attempt to answer such questions and provide information, month by month.

We welcome your input, both on suggestions of people who you'd like us to include in next year's Making A Difference and on issues we should address in Young At Heart.

If you have a suggestions for Making A Difference or Young At Heart, please give me a call at 301-791-7591, send me an e-mail at lindad@herald-mail.com or write me c/o The Herald-Mail, 100 Summit Ave., Hagerstown, MD 21741.

We'll do our best to provide you with the information you want.

Linda Duffield is associate editor of The Herald-Mail.

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