ASKED AND ANSWERED

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Since the events of Sept. 11 and the start of war against terrorism, many people feel at a loss about what they can do to contribute to the effort.

Some locals have offered some tips on what we can do here.

Deborah Improta, salesperson at LIFT-UP, said she thinks something as simple as prayers help our soldiers at war and the nation as a whole.

"It's a good way to ease your own feelings here, like maybe meditating, when we know that people are fighting to help keep us safe," Improta said.

Millie Beall, executive director of Routt County United Way, said as federal dollars begin to slip away while our military is at war, helping out locally is most important for small towns such as Steamboat Springs.

"This is what I'm dealing with on a daily basis. We all have to be serving locally," Beall said.

Beall said if we don't take care of ourselves here, we might lose services that currently exist.

"The fear is that so many dollars have been donated to the East Coast that people begin to say, 'I gave to that fund, I can't give locally,'" Beall said. "We're taking care of people's basic needs."

Tom Gangel, program director at Steamboat Mental Health Clinic, said community is important during a time when the country and the world are in disarray.

"This grants us the opportunity to pull together. It opens a door for us," Gangel said.

Because many people in Steamboat Springs feel helpless in their positions, Gangel said it's important to pull together because it makes people feel more powerful.

"If we learn to focus on our own community, we'll take that extra step for fellow Americans," Gangel said. "People are more open to giving and accepting."

Sometimes we avoid certain doors or decide not to open others. Gangel said this chaos could help people open certain doors they otherwise never would have touched.

Compiled by Kelly Silva

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