Letters to the Editor, Aug. 2
Fire victim gives thanks
I'm writing to give thank(s) (to) all the people that helped with my son's house fire on June 3, 2012. Sadie, I'm not a very good writer ... but I want to thank the Lord that Todd Garnier, who saw the fire, called his mother next door to call the fire department. Plus, Walt and Kathy had their CB on and said, "that's Mike's house get down there! So all three men put the hose water on and really helped until the fire department arrived. I also want to thank all the volunteer fire fighters that were great. Without their help the whole house would have gone up. Again, we really appreciate the volunteer fire department in Unionville and all the neighbors. Sadie, thank you also.
Hundreds benefit from Summer Feeding Program
The Bedford County and Shelbyville community benefited from the personal and financial sacrifice of two individuals--Mamie and Sol Johnson. For eight weeks, they supervised the 2012 USDA Summer Feeding Program for children ages 0-18 years of age.
Their commitment involved a daily schedule for 5:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. of supervising the preparation of 12,792 breakfast and lunch meals. These retired individuals chose to involve their other retired friends (including me) to help with the program.
The highlight of the program was the July 27th Back-to-School Program. Sol grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, Mamie supervised the distribution of 450-plus backpacks (stuffed with school supplies) and door prizes, and other staff members served meals, cotton candy and ice cream. Because of Mamie's personality, her friends feel guilty if they even think about saying "no" to her request.
Other retired individuals in community travel and spend their leisure time in other ways. I commend Mamie and Sol because they allowed their "vision" of helping children to commit eight weeks of their summer to "feed the children of Bedford County and Shelbyville."
Our community, especially our children, is blessed for their commitment of serving others. I am blessed because she is my friend and classmate.
Grandparents need more rights
This is my attempt to bring to the attention of all parties involved, the importance of grandparents rights, in the state of Tennessee. This is a very serious issue that needs immediate attention to prevent the further destruction of many of our children in this society.
Oftentimes our children are placed or left in abusive situations, whether it be physical or mental, because one or both biological parents are absent from the child's life. Many times they are incapable of caring for the child due to chemical dependency or incarceration, simply walked out and totally abandoned the child, or an untimely death, deceased.
It is unfair and we as Tennesseans need to step up and demand a change to the laws and rights of our grandparents in this state. These children would be able to be raised with their biological families and have the much needed structure that is generally not seen in many situations of negligent parenting of today. Oftentimes children are placed with various family members for months at a time, while the parent is incarcerated which can and does cause issues of separation anxiety as well as issues of abandonment with these children. These are serious issues that can have life-long effects on the children.
I work in healthcare and I see first-hand the profound effects of such situations. I see children that have been and are still being abused physically, as well as mentally. I also see parents walk in and out of their children's lives, come back and take these children away from grandparents, uprooting them out of their school programs. Then move away again disrupting the children's lives only to abandon them again.
Why are these parents allowed to walk in and out the child's life at their convenience? Why do we as grandparents not have any rights when it comes to the well-being of our grandchildren?
There should be laws in place to protect children who live in these environments where this type of negligent behavior is occurring and tolerated by the courts. There has to be changes made, laws implemented, as well as enforced to protect our children's future and it has to start now.
Commitment, order and structure has to be present in the lives of our children and it has to start early. We as grandparents, lawyers, judges, case/social workers, senators, congress and any/all individuals that can have a positive impact on these issues must unite and bring about change as well as a resolution. If laws are not put in place immediately to protect our children, from this disruption, we will continue to see a rise in the destruction of our youth as well as an increase in negligent parenting.
These parents are not being held accountable for the havoc they cause in the lives of these children, which are our future leaders.
I pray this does not fall upon deaf ears, also that each and everyone reading this letter will put forth the much needed, long overdue effort to bring about this change.
Sharonita L. Liles, LPN
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