TOM CRUISE

"Your story on Tom Cruise made me realize he is a loving, funny and generally misunderstood guy"
Courtney Fleury
Calgary, Alta.

When I saw your cover I had to say "Wow!" Tom Cruise continues to look just as gorgeous as he has all these years. And the story featured some incredible photos. Thanks for sharing.
Anita Bean
Las Vegas

I don't understand why Tom Cruise has to explain things like jumping for joy on Oprah's couch. He has shown nothing but kindness to others and will always be a "top gun" in my book. I wish Tom and his family the very best.
Joey Ann Newman
Odenton, Md.

It was great to see Tom Cruise on your cover. I've enjoyed his work for many years and find him refreshing. Many folks may not agree with the decisions he has made for himself, but let's remember he is entitled to his own opinions.
Anonymous
via e-mail

As the mother of a child with a devastating disorder, I'll never forgive Tom Cruise for his rants against psychiatry. It enrages me to think that because of Mr. Cruise's comments, people may not seek the help they need. No matter how many adorable photos are published, I'll boycott all movies starring this irresponsible actor.
M.J. Mudd
Houston

OPRAH WINFREY

So Oprah is embarrassed to be 200 lbs.? I can certainly sympathize with her struggle. But after my high of 234 lbs., I'm very proud to now be 200 lbs.! Oprah is beautiful no matter what she may weigh. With all the good she does in the world, is her size really the most important issue about her?
April Ellis
Albany, Ore.

RICKY MARTIN

After all the celebrity scandals, it was like a breath of fresh air to read about Ricky Martin and his twins. Regardless of the method of conception, babies are always a blessing. With Ricky as a parent, these babies will have all the love and attention they'll ever need.
Denny Bryers
Bronx, N.Y.

FLASHES OF HOPE

I really appreciated the article on the Flashes of Hope program, in which professional photographers volunteer their time to take pictures of sick children. As a nurse working with chronically ill kids, I'm inspired every day by the amazing children I encounter. Flashes of Hope gives these kids an opportunity to forget they are sick and enjoy a moment of normalcy, while providing their parents with a treasure they will cherish forever.
Bridgett Campbell
Mebane, N.C.

My heart was touched reading about this program and seeing the photos of children suffering from cancer. I'm humbled by the courage of these brave kids who are going through such a difficult time, but enduring it with grace.
Kathleen Joyce
via e-mail

PAYING IT FORWARD

Readers were inspired by the generosity of the staffers at State Bank & Trust in Fargo, N. Dak., who were each given up to $1,000 in December '07 with the stipulation that they "pay it forward." The employees' enthusiasm for helping the needy "warmed my heart," wrote Karen Smith of Seattle. The bank continued the tradition this past holiday season, with employees spreading $514,000 of goodwill. Thanks to them, four siblings of a family that had recently been homeless were even able to open gifts. Wrote their grateful mother: "Without this our children wouldn't have had much of a Christmas at all."

Correction
A photo on page 131 of our Dec. 29 issue was identified as Bob Green. The photo was of Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper. We regret the error.