Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - April 14, 2008

Life is hard for some grandparents

Today, many grandparents are in their retirement years, but instead of enjoying retirement, they are raising grandchildren. One common way to categorize grandparent caregivers is to divide them into three types.

First are the custodial, the ones who have legal custody. Second are grandparents who have grandchildren living with them and provide daily care, but do not have legal custody. These are the grandparents who focus on providing an economically and emotionally stable environment for the children. When a grandparent does not have legal custody, they have no way of protecting the children from unsuitable or dangerous parents.

The third type of grandparents are those who focus on helping the children as a way to fulfill their own needs.

I'm one of the grandparents in the second category, raising a 6-year-old without legal papers from the court -- but with a paper from my daughter saying I have this child and have authority to take her to doctors, etc. It is notarized.

We grandparents are expected to raise the grandchildren on our retirement money or disability money but no money from the parents. But when the grandparent goes to get help from other places, you have to document that you have the children or have a letters from the parent that has custody. In my case, I get less then $45 a month for food stamps. But I'm giving this child a home, love, wisdom, spritual needs, and this child is happy. This child attends church and is more relaxed, loves going to school and loves the counselor at Catawba Family and at the school.

Why is it that our state doesn't have more assitance programs to help grandparents out? Why don't South Carolina legislators get busy and give us more power when we have the grandchildren and vistation with the grandchildren we love so dearly?

Liz Grady

Rock Hill

Let's put debate over USC to rest

Home for spring break recently, I was surprised to read that some people are still complaining about USC's mascot. In Jordan Bower's letter, she sarcastically thanked Carolina fans for the "history lessons" explaining their mascot's origin, and exclaimed, "Enough already! We get it!" Well, apparently not, because she then took off on a rambling rant against USC that somehow managed to include everything from the Confederate flag to Oprah Winfrey.

She first insulted USC supporters for having the audacity to defend their school. I remind Ms. Bowers that it was not a Gamecock fan that started this fight.

She next said that none of USC's sports teams ever win consistently. Apparently, she was unaware that Carolina's baseball team had just swept Clemson the previous weekend. In fact, the Gamecock baseball program has accumulated more wins than any other college during the past decade.

After a few more insults in which she referred to USC's mascot as "silly," "laughable" and "unimpressive," she then asked, "Do you think there might be a reason no other school has adopted this nickname?" Ms. Bowers is obviously unaware that the folks at Jacksonville State proudly refer to themselves as "Gamecocks" as do the students at Sumter High School.

We in the Palmetto State are fortunate to have two fine universities such as Clemson and the University of South Carolina. Both Tigers and Gamecocks have reason to take pride in being who they are. But when you start hurling childish insults at your rivals, you ultimately end up embarrassing yourself.

Justin Pryor

Columbia

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