Residents generous during hard times
We live in an extraordinarily caring community! While that fact is not new, it is certainly worth repeating and celebrating. Let me add one more example.
Despite an economic recession that has impacted almost everyone in our region, Goodwill received over 95,000 donations of clothing, household items, computers and furniture from residents in December. This was a 5 percent increase from the prior year and reversed a decline we had seen throughout the year. Beyond the numbers are the images I have of mothers and fathers bringing their children to our donation centers. Having a young girl hand me a well-loved toy that she was giving in the hope of helping someone she will never meet.
You only have to visit one of our job centers or one of our occupational classrooms to see the visible signs of increased unemployment. In 2008, more than 11,000 people came to Goodwill seeking help with employment, an increase of over 80 percent from the prior year. Some of those who come to Goodwill have chronic employment barriers, while an increasing number are among those recently displaced by layoffs or closings. They all share one thing in common -- they are looking for encouragement and support while they seek work.
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Because of the amazing generosity of so many in our community, Goodwill has been and will continue to be there to provide employment, training and most importantly that word of encouragement.
Thank you, Rock Hill, for your heart and your goodwill.
President and CEO
Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont
Crack down on junked cars
I recently relieved my letter in the mail on our new yard-cart system -- the description, the cost, what it's to be used for and its benefits. Overall, I have no problem with it, not with buying one or what it's to accomplish. The letter states it will cut down on manpower, fuel and equipment costs, leading our community in water quality and "street beautification."
Here is where I want to submit my idea of a sore spot. Beautification! I wish the city officials would get very tough on people who buy or rent homes in the city and junk abandoned cars parked in backyards, driveways, side of houses, wherever they will fit. If you have a valid up-to-date tag, why are they parking it in their backyards? I tell you why, because they don't have tags.
There is nothing that will kill the value of your property more than an abandoned, junked car in yard. Over the past few years, this has gotten crazy. I grew up here and decided I wanted to buy a house here as an adult, but it is really disappointing to see this neighborhood or anywhere in the city for that matter.
Please, City Council, get tough on this! Warn them, fine them and take the cars and sell them, and put money towards more police or anything for parks and recreation for the kids. If you want beautification, there is your best start.
Don't cut funding for education
Why are politicians asking for money to bail out banks, automakers and many others and letting the state's education lie in ruins? Many counties are having to cut back on teachers, teacher's pay, classroom sizes, consolidation of schools because of the economy right now.
We need to look for the best education possible for our children, They are our future. The cuts need to be made somewhere besides in the state Department of Education. The governor needs to look to the future of the state by providing the children with the best education. The children need their neighborhood schools as a sense of belonging to a community. Schools provide the backbone to communities and a family of support to all.
Don't let this fundamental part of living the American Dream fall by the wayside. Tax the smokers or alcohol more ... whatever is needed to help educators do what they love and educate our children.
Donna A. Bryan