Voices
December 13, 2012 Issue

LETTERS


Why not drug test those on welfare

Dear Editor:

I was reading an article the other day about drug testing welfare recipients and it takes a lot to shock me or anger me, but I felt both emotions as I read some of the comments.

Let me say that as a person who works every day that I have no problem with drug testing welfare recipients. People often have to get drug test for employment so why not test people who are getting welfare?

 

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If you are not using, then you have nothing to worry about, nothing to fear. I don’t necessarily think it would be feasible financially to test every person but even doing it randomly could possibly deter some of the abuse.

I was most shocked by the fact that some of the people blogging were acting as if it is a crime to drug test these people; but in fact, the crime is people who are committing fraud against the government.

Why should welfare support someone’s drug habit? Welfare is a program to help people short term who have hit on hard times to get back on their feet. It is a system that is severely broken and abused along with Social Security Disability. Both systems have been abused for years and our government (both parties) is doing nothing to stop it. Both systems are broken and inept.

It would be impossible to actually put a number on the cost of the abuse but from doing some research on just welfare fraud alone in some individual state statistics; I can tell you that the cost to taxpayers is in the billions. It has recently been in the news that welfare debit cards have been used to withdraw cash at casinos, strip clubs, nail salons, cruise ships, resorts, liquor stores and the list goes on and on.

As a person who works everyday to try and have something in this world I find that appalling. As a matter of fact, it should be appalling to every person in this country who works for a living.

Let me say again that I have no problem with our government helping anyone who is in need short term, but I do have a problem with the entitlement mentality that is running rapid in our country.

If these debit cards are being used at casinos, strip clubs and such and they certainly are according to news reports, then the children in these homes are certainly not benefiting from them in the way they are intended.

When people who work can barely afford to live yet people on welfare can go on cruises and gamble at casinos...there is something really wrong with that picture. I know many working class families black and white, who would love to be able to take their children to Disney World or on a cruise but can’t afford it, so tell me how a welfare recipient can afford it? And better yet, convince me that they are not abusing the system.

Welfare money is given to you to survive, to help with living expenses, with clothing your children, buying necessities, not to buy lottery, get nails done or vacations etc. When you talk about change, this is the type of change that needs to take place...we need to get people off the couch, off the freebies and out working for a living.

This isn’t a black or white issue because the system is being abused by anyone who can abuse it, so it should anger all people who work for a living. Getting over on the system and trying to get something for nothing is not anything to be proud of, it is not a virtue to be lazy or deceitful and eventually all of us are going to suffer because of it, including the ones who are doing it.

I am not trying to pass judgment on anyone, it is not my place, and this isn’t about passing judgment, simply put, right is right and wrong is wrong.

The poet John Trudell said “I’m just a human being trying to make it in a world that is very rapidly losing its understanding of being human.”

I can feel his pain because as I look around every day, pick up the paper or watch the news, I ask myself, what is really happening to us as a society and to our country.

Tamera D. Gaskin





The food pantry’s origins remembered

In rummaging through some old papers recently we came across an article dated March 18, 1999, declaring the origin and opening of the Louisville Food Pantry. As time goes, that really wasn’t so long ago and yet so much happens so fast that it seems “buried in antiquity” and no one knows how or when, or even why, the pantry was established.

I quote from the article:

“In the past few months, at the urging of the South Jefferson Ministerial Association and the Jefferson County Hunger Commission, a group of plain old every-day citizens and church members…Representatives from at least 12 different churches, several business and civic organizations have reached their hands, stretched their arms, hearts and minds across denominational, cultural and racial lines to establish the Louisville Food Pantry. Thanks to generous donations of money, food, time and effort, a building and other necessary items, the pantry has already served its first emergency recipients and will officially open on Tuesday, March 23, 1999, at 718 Nelms Street, Louisville.

“Because Jesus said, ‘If you have done it unto one of the least of these, you have done it unto me…I was hungry and you gave me something to eat…,’ volunteers are reaching hands to help people living in our county who have problems stretching their food budgets to last through the month, people who are out of work because of lay-offs, illness, disabilities; people in emergency and crisis situations.”

At that first organizational meeting a young Church of God minister had gathered a diverse group mentioned above. He and his aunt, who was associated with the Salvation Army and The Golden Harvest Food Bank in Augusta, spurred the group to action and the Louisville Food Pantry was born. The Louisville United Methodist Church allowed us to begin under their non-profit status.

The young minister was almost immediately called to a church in another state and Charlie Cofer, retired from SRS, became the first director/facilitator.

Geraldine Martin and Mary Caran used Mary’s van to pick up food from Golden Harvest in Augusta, for which we paid $.17 per can using funds raised locally. Eugenia Gordy served enthusiastically holding local food and fund drives.

Mr. Charlie Brown, Ron Warnock, Toni Yonchak, Ed Deen, Victor and Eva Vargas are a few early workers who got the pantry “off and running.” If any names of those early visionaries have been omitted, it is certainly unintentional. Some have now passed to their heavenly rewards, some have retired or moved away and some continue to plug along showing their faith by their works.

The food pantry is not now and has never been connected with the Federal government. It remains a local undertaking by volunteers. No one is ever paid for their services. Funds and supplies raised in our area stay here. Lettie Cofer Mohammad inherited the facilitator position from her brother, Mary Caran is treasurer, Blanche Greene is food procurer and uses several willing local sources as well as Golden Harvest Food Bank. Food distribution on Tuesdays and Thursdays is handled by Ethel Davis, Mike Wall, Toni Yonchak, Anthony White, Greg Johnson, Quantrell Hannah, and various community service helpers. Residents of Wrens and their churches have been able to do a good job supplying food and assistance to that area of the county.

This county continues to be blessed with many caring people. Many Wadley and Bartow people join in support of the Louisville Pantry, which distributes to the needs of these three communities. The need is greater now than 13 years ago. We still need donations and volunteers.

Now is a good time to pledge your support for 2013, and join the list of Pantry supporters.

The following churches and organizations have been faithful Food Pantry supporters this year as well as in past year including Bartow Baptist, Central Baptist, Dove Enrichment Ministries, Eden Baptist, Episcopal Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Faith Memorial Church, Friendship Baptist, Good Shepherd Thrift Store, Louisville ARP, Louisville First Baptist, Magdalene House, Moxley United Methodist, Nails Creek Baptist, Old Bethel Baptist, Pierce Grove Baptist, Providence Baptist, Shekinah Baptist, St. Joan of Arc Catholic, St. John’s United Methodist, St. Matthew’s, St. Paul, Wadley Baptist and Wadley United Methodist, WMU and Women.

Marianne Miller












 


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