Abandoned cat fund
In response to the abandoned cat letter ("Abandoned Cat," Dec. 15), I give that person kudos for trying to help the cat. Poor thing loses its owner, then has to endure a cold outside that it is not used to.
It is nobel to take responsibility for animals. I have made a small donation to help out with the vet bill and I hope others will too.
Helping animals in distress is a good thing.
(Editor’s note: At the front desk of the Siuslaw News is an envelope where Ms. Barnett has started a collection for the cat mentioned in Pat Rongey’s Letter to the Editor. The envelope will remain at the desk through Dec. 31 for anyone who would like to help.)
Kindness is gift of rare beauty
How very sad it made me feel to read the Letter to the Editor about the difficulty the person was having in trying to take care of an abandoned cat in the neighborhood when its owner died. (“Abandoned Cat,” Dec. 15). The 9-year-old cat was left to fend for itself and was lying in the street, obviously in danger.
Neighbors had not been able to help and the cat was beginning to look sick. The person wrote “I had called our local humane society but was told ’Sorry, we are all full and are a no-kill shelter.’”
Our humane society, which is a no-kill shelter with limited space, had no room available and no open foster home available.
Then the letter writer called a local vet who said they would do a physical to determine the best alternative, but for a charge of “at least $65.”
Finally, Greenhill Shelter in Eugene agreed to examine the cat to determine if it should be euthanized (i.e., killed due to extreme suffering.) The writer warned of the probability of being left with the bill — or the cat — for their efforts to help.
I think we might seriously consider another option in our community. Florence is in need of many more foster care homes for temporary care of pets. Being a foster home is a short-term commitment of time. No money is required and it helps save precious lives.
These abandoned or forgotten animals could be temporarily cared for in a loving home while they are being evaluated, treated if necessary, and then re-homed.
It feels good to know you have helped save a dependent, innocent pet with love, warmth and a temporary safe place.
The Oregon Coast Humane Society (OCHS) has recently been recruiting foster families for kittens and puppies, but abandoned pets create another very real need.
If you have a little space, time and love, apply at the OCHS on Rhododendron drive and become a foster home.
In full disclosure, I am on the OCHS board of directors but am writing as a private citizen and long-time animal rescuer.
Cookies for first responders
On Dec. 6, it was the joy of giving that caused the Women on Missions of the First Baptist Church to prepare trays of cookies to deliver to our local fire, police, ambulance service and Coast Guard — from which some of us have received emergency services.
We did this partly out of inspiration by the spirit of Christmas, but also out of appreciation for the important service they provide for people in the Florence area.
It was while at Western Lane Ambulance that EMT Ronnie Pearson as on duty and received a tray of our cookies. WLAD was also the department that trained one of my grandsons, a volunteer there when he was still a teenager, and encouraged him — along with hospital employees — to become a respiratory therapist. (He now works at the hospital.)
Each recipient of our cookies expressed appreciation for our show of gratitude for their services.
This poor man’s child
Since writing my last letter a few months ago, in which I addressed the horrific trauma inflicted upon the children of immigrants seeking asylum on the southern border, the situation has only worsened.
As a mental health professional, I know that these children will experience immeasurable difficulties throughout their lives. I wonder how we the people have allowed this to happen?
This past week, 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin, from Guatemala, reportedly died from apparent dehydration. She was seeking asylum in America with her father. The current administration has been quick to blame victims, saying they shouldn’t have attempted to enter the country illegally.
We have always been the country that welcomes the immigrant; it is what makes America great. Unless we are Native American, most of us are here because our immigrant ancestors came to America to escape persecution and violence, similar to that experienced by Jakelin and her father.
Have we forgotten our American history?
Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol in the 19th century, but it is just as relevant today. While we are busy with family and friends this Christmas, let us remember the words of the Ghost of Christmas Present to Ebenezer Scrooge:
“It may well be that in the sight of heaven, you are more worthless than millions like this poor man's child.”
Contact your members of Congress; these children and families need our help.
Sadly, declining Scouts membership is no surprise
I was saddened — but not surprised — to learn of the Boy Scouts of America filling for bankruptcy this past week. I am a former Scout Master of many happy years with three different troops.
When I read a few years ago that they went “politically correct” by allowing male homosexuals to become Scoutmasters, it was very obvious to me and several of my friends who were also former Scoutmasters that a death knell had been struck for the movement.
There would be many parents who would no longer encourage their sons to become a Boy Scout for that very reason. And recently they approved girls to join the Boy Scouts, which does not help the situation. It is no wonder the movement has seen its membership decline from over 4 million in 2017 to just over 3 million currently.
A good active Scoutmaster will have his troop out camping almost every month of the year in their tents if possible. Opportunities could present themselves which would not be desirable.
I can almost bet there will be someone who will disagree with my viewpoint on the subject. That may be, but there will be many who know from whence I speak.
Help others by supporting local charities
One of the most wonderful things about Christmas in Western Lane County is meeting people in the grocery and retail stores. They never seem to be too busy to say hello or to be friendly to a stranger. What a blessing.
Sadly, not every family nor every child enjoys the joy of shopping and gifting others. For them, food, clothing and enough to pay the next utility bill or rent is even more than they can hope for.
There are more than a dozen charities in Florence that help with the needs of “the least among us.” I urge everyone reading this to consider picking one, two or three charities and sending them a generous year end gift.
Also, more than 150 volunteers are ringing bells at local markets for The Salvation Army’s red kettles. Ninety percent of the moneys raised are re-allocated by a local advisory committee to charities and activities in our community.
Sam Spayd and his volunteers have a goal to raise $30,000 in the few days remaining.
God bless Florence and all of Western Lane County.
—Bill and Becky Olson