Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - August 17, 2008

Dys needs new equipment

Of course Andrew Dys was huffing and puffing while riding 7 miles on his young daughter's bike. I imagine he would be equally distraught had he walked those last 7 miles in, say, his wife's heels.

Bill Johnson

Fort Mill

Program helping families in need

With the overwhelming stress in our world and especially our own country, it is refreshing for me to be a part of a wonderful movement that will help others. When I turn on the TV news or read the paper, it sometimes seems like hope is lost.

Well, in Lancaster, hope is being restored.

Family Promise of Lancaster County. (some may know it as Interfaith Hospitality Network), will restore hope to families who have lost it due to economic hardship. Money isn't everything, and a person shouldn't worry about material items, but you do need shelter, clothing, food and safety to get by and be happy.

Family Promise will assist parents in their quest to have a better life and ensure a brighter future for their kids. It is hard enough to go to a job and raise children. Then, when you least expect it, a crisis strikes and the family is without a home and security. It's easy to feel this couldn't happen to you, but with the way things are now in America, it is a reality for people just like you.

Family Promise is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization. Plans to see that Lancaster County gets its own "network" began in September 2007 under the initiation of Bill Hutchinson. He took a chance and did some investigating into the nonprofit Interfaith Hospitality Network. With guidance from the Family Promise headquarters in Summit, N.J., and with the director of the Rock Hill Interfaith Hospitality Network, Jennifer Coye, he began inviting Lancaster County citizens, who were representing their own churches, to the meetings, and single-handedly organized the group that we have now.

It is with focus and perseverance that Family Promise of Lancaster County is as far along as it is. There are many dedicated people who have given their time and talent and will continue to do so. Family Promise hopes soon to benefit Lancaster in a variety of ways. One is through the camaraderie of those already involved. Another is the closeness of the congregations that will work directly with the families by greeting them with a meal, sleeping over during the week or driving them to and from the day center and the church.

Much is left to do before Family Promise is able to help the families in need. Funds must be raised to support the efforts, and 98.5 percent of any money raised will stay in Lancaster County. We also have scheduled a Family Promise Golf Tournament, in which teams will have a shot at winning $100,000, for Oct. 25 at the Lancaster Golf Club.

For more details, you may go to www.familypromiselancaster.org or call First United Methodist Church in Lancaster at (803) 285-8406.

Mary Atkinson


Public education vital to community

I must take issue with the position against public education by Robert Davis in his recent letter to The Herald. Most of us reading this probably came up through the public school system and have enjoyed its benefits, which continue to benefit all of us through productive citizenship. Mr. Davis' 30-year teaching experience in public education are to be commended. Although it is regrettable that his experience was not altogether positive, most teachers I know have been dedicated to our children and the principles of public education.

As a former parent volunteer at Rosewood Elementary School, I saw a school that would compare favorably with any elementary school in the country, public or private. The annual test scores and school evaluations seem to bear this out. The adoption of the International Baccalaureate program by Rosewood is something that is making a difference. At Sullivan Middle School, despite the typical concentration of raging hormones, the school administration and staff were responsible and dedicated to improving education for all students, regardless of socioeconomic status.

Our educational system is not perfect, but the answer is not to funnel public money to private schools, where teacher certification and oversight standards can be sketchy at best.

No matter what Mr. Davis says, we do have excellent public schools in York County, but we are in danger of losing them because of anti-education politicians and out-of-state lobbyists who want to loot the public treasury to fund social experiments at the expense of our children. Good public education benefits an entire community. We need to value it and work together to improve it and keep it strong.

Timothy Moe

Rock Hill

Yard cart program makes good sense

The Yard cart program will soon be a reality for the citizens of Rock Hill. I see many positive effects as a result of it.

The yard cart holds much more than my wheelbarrow and is easier to handle. I can pay for it on 10 monthly installments, which are added to my utility bill. I can do yard work any day of the week, put it in the covered cart, wheel it out on my collection day and not have it sitting in front of my yard for days at a time.

Having had many years with no yard waste pick-up and paying someone to haul it away, I know the cost of the cart will pay for itself in a very short time.

Sarah Morgan

Rock Hill