Letters to the Editor

IN FOCUS: People helping people

Overcome fear through generosity

At this holiday time South Carolinians are typically generous with their contributions of food, toys and money through churches and many local and national charities. We may be concerned about the uncertainty of the economy and maybe that fear has caused us to cut back a little on our giving. We must overcome that fear as this is the time to give even more.

The generosity needed goes beyond the toys, food and clothes though. A prolonged job search is the most exhausting, frustrating and self-esteem-eroding experience I have ever been through. So, I also want us all to call that person whom we know is looking for a job and encourage them; or take them to lunch and get their mind off the endless streams of "no's", or just spend five extra minutes with them after church service. Don't worry, unemployment isn't contagious.

We all may be a little frightened, but there are families out there hanging on by their fingernails.. They are our neighbors and they need us, our resources and our encouragement. Let's conquer our own fear by giving. Give, and then give a little more.

JOSEPH V. JOY

Chapin

Your old cars can help poor get to work

The Cooperative Ministry C.A.R. Program has helped over 68 working poor people with donated automobiles this year. Through the public's generous donations of their old cars, we are able to provide transportation for these individuals to get to and from work. We take donations of all vehicles; these cars do not need to be running. We have volunteer mechanics that help get these cars on the road again. If the automobile needs towing, it is at no cost to the donor.

This tax deductible gift is a wonderful way to help your community. This enables the working poor to support their families with dignity and respect. Transportation is vital in this community and through your donations you change people's lives.

Consider donating your old car to The Cooperative Ministry C.A.R. Program, located at 3821 West Beltline in Columbia. If you have any questions, please contact us at 803-799-3853.

PATRICIA JACKSON

C.A.R. Director, The Cooperative Ministry

Columbia

Consider the gift of life this season

I would like to challenge others to make a difference in life by donating the gift of life. As a Red Cross blood donor who had to donate his own blood for hip replacement surgery, I have been blessed by giving blood. Today, there are heart surgery patients, cancer patients and many others who could benefit from this small gift. Life is too precious to let others in need not have this life-saving gift.

JAMES B. SKELTON

Gaston

Despite shelter's success, needs remain

Regarding the Dec. 14 article, "So far, so good at winter shelter," I agree - The Cooperative Ministry and USC are doing a terrific job running the shelter this year.

Their efforts are preventing over 200 people nightly from sleeping outside. However, the upbeat "so far, so good" assessment of the situation misses the breadth of the problem and completely disregards the remaining 700 or so people in our community who do not have a permanent and adequate place to sleep at night.

I comment to bring attention to the fact that over half of the people who need emergency shelter are not receiving it. While acknowledging the great work being done in Columbia to help the homeless, let's not think that we are doing enough.

CANDICE R. MORGAN

Columbia

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