Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Other Opinions · The Joy of helping...
. . . .

The Joy of helping others

Beth Havens - December 15th, 2008
Ah Christmas.
Always the one day each year that each child anticipates and looks forward to with wonder and hope.
Well, not every child. At this time of year I can’t help but think of the many children in our area who may receive very little -- if anything -- when they wake on Christmas morning. Dinner for these children and their parents will not be the feast most Americans are use to celebrating with family. How do I know? I use to be that child.
I remember our family struggling to make ends meet, not just at Christmas, but much of the year. Despite my mother working two jobs, many times she found it very difficult to meet our basic needs. Christmas was one of the harder times. As a child it was difficult, but it was also difficult on my mom. She knew she could not afford to buy us the fancy toys or the latest fashions. This had to be frustrating for a parent.
When I was young, I remember receiving some things from our church around Christmas time. It was usually food, but sometimes we would get small gifts as well. My mom rarely ever asked for help, but if it showed up, especially if we, my brothers, my cousin who lived with us, and I were around, she would accept it. She was always torn between wanting to provide everything for our family herself and the reality that sometimes it was just too difficult.
Why not contact a government or local agency for help? Some families do, but some feel others are in greater need and do not want to use those resources. My family could have qualified for many of these programs. However, we did not access them. Not being able to provide everything for your family is heart breaking, yet I see the parents of some children dealing with the same struggle my mom did over us.
There are many programs that will help struggling families, but often the help needs to be requested. This is a difficult step for some parents. Other lesser known programs, like Boots for Kids, will provide support with a referral from others outside the family such as school personnel. It doesn’t matter where the help comes from, as long as it reaches the children.
I’m just one person, but I wanted to make a difference for those children with and among whom I have so much in common. For the last two years I’ve been working with colleagues to provide support for as many families as we can. With the support of great people and the willingness to donate from local businesses and individual community members, some of the struggling families in our area will receive a little extra hope and wonder this Christmas.
The support provided to our “Christmas Families” is not made known to the children. The parents are able to give the gifts to their children, either from Santa or themselves. The children never know the gifts came from anywhere else, as it should be.
If you would like to help struggling families please contact community agencies in your area.

Special ed teacher Beth Havens is gathering donations for Christmas families. To help out, please email:
HavensBe@silverlake.tcaps.net

 
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