Banks should rethink Toys for Tots decision | Dec. 2 editorial
We should value all forms of giving
TD Bank believes that giving comes in all forms. We are committed to giving during the holidays and throughout the year.
TD Bank proudly joined the Tampa/St. Petersburg community in June. Just a few of the many organizations TD Bank has supported in our short time here include Habitat for Humanity of East and Central Pasco County, Seniors in Service of Tampa Bay, Girls Incorporated of Pinellas, HomeAid Tampa Bay, Pasco Economic Development Council, Morton Plant Mease Health Care Foundation, Lowry Park Zoological Society and the Hillsborough Education Foundation.
We focus our foundation giving in three key areas: Affordable housing, financial literacy and the environment. In Florida, we have participated in over 160 local community events and donated $400,000. Through the TD Charitable Foundation, we awarded 197 grants totaling about $1.3 million.
While we are proud to support organizations and community outreach activities in the region, we also realize we cannot be everything to everyone. Recently, some concerns were raised about our support for Toys for Tots in West Pasco. We were always committed to working with Toys for Tots, but we believe there are several ways to do so.
Before anything was made public, TD Bank arranged to meet with the area director to find a way to work together, beginning with our team delivering a van brimming with toys to local drop off sites and continuing through idea building and future partnerships with Toys for Tots. We both are excited about what the future holds.
At TD Bank, we recognize the importance of supporting the people and communities in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area. Let's remember that giving comes in various forms, with none being less important than the other. What matters is that we continue to give and support each other during this holiday season and throughout the year.
Kevin Gillen, regional president, TD Bank in Florida
Sinkhole law is a disaster for Pasco
When our elected leaders passed legislation raising sinkhole insurance rates, they canceled out all the savings from property tax reductions for homeowners. The end is a higher cost of home ownership. This takes place while almost half of all homeowners have higher mortgages than the value of their homes.
While the 183 percent rate increase was not approved thanks to voter protests, rates have increased on average over $500 for 2012 with more increases to come. This is when a record number of foreclosures are taking place, the economy is in recession and unemployment is high. The legislation is a disaster for homeowners and for economic development in Pasco County.
An analysis of the impact of this legislation on the homeowner is available online. It shows the changes in the law approved by legislators and gives the impact of the change on the homeowner. Also available at this site is a petition to ask our elected representatives to repeal this law. Go to hpdemocrats.com to learn more.
Lynn W. Lindeman, Hudson