Dear Friends,

I founded the Saluda Charitable foundation long before I became involved in public service and politics, so I want to put politics aside and talk to you about a cause I have been championing since 1999 – charity.

I am currently in Ternopil, Ukraine, an area that has been occupied by four empires in the last century and was badly damaged under Soviet rule. Ternopil has seen significant growth since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, due in great part to assistance from the Western world. Saluda Charitable’s facility serves as both a Christian Mission and a local food pantry. A dollar goes a long way in Ternopil, and we are able to feed thousands of meals to hungry children, unemployed parents, and the most vulnerable elderly. I have made so many good friends here over the years and it continues to be a blessing to return for a visit. To learn more about my charity please visit the foundation website at www.saludacharitable.com.

I’ve realized how unique and great the United States is from the experiences I’ve had in poverty-stricken countries. No other nation raises as much money for international causes as America. From the early days of colonization, when the Pilgrims gave what little excess crops they had to their neighbors, to today?s enormous efforts made for international tsunami and earthquake relief, charity is a deeply rooted part of the American Experience. What Reagan said 45 years ago remains true today, that America is “the last best hope of man on Earth.”

To whom much is given, much is to be expected, and I have been truly blessed in my life and found that there is no greater reward than to help others. One doesn’t need a lot of time or financial resources to make a difference. Simple acts, such as checking on an elderly neighbor or participating in a cancer research 5K make a substantial difference. I would like to challenge you to do something charitable this week by helping your fellow man; it is the ultimate way to serve God.

“Be good, be kind, be humane, and charitable; love your fellows; console the afflicted; pardon those who have done you wrong.” —Zoroaster

Be Well,

Curtis M. Loftis, Jr.