Letters to the Editor: Remembering Harley, Reaching out, Helping Hands

Letters to the Editor 6-24-17

Remembering Harley
There was real sincerity in Harley Youngblood’s velvet voice on local radio that will surely be missed here in his beloved Florence.

I know because I had the honor of writing radio news copy for this famed broadcaster; while also serving as Harley’s adjutant back in early 2000 at our Florence VFW Post.

As a radio personality and leader of local veterans, Harley was seamless in how he transitioned from his folksy monologue into reading radio commercial messages with real passion. This translated as fierce loyalty to fellow citizens and veterans who joined this wonderful man in celebrating patriotism; because “our” Harley was all about duty, honor and country.

He was the real deal and this veteran will miss his always-friendly greetings when running into Harley around our town.

—Dave Masko

Allow outreach efforts to continue
Hunger is alive and present right in Florence. Food for the weekends is provided to hungry children because of the kindness of a church in our midst.

Lunch is served to hungry folks at the United Methodist Church through efforts of several churches in town, as well as the Helping Hands Coalition.

I have been a volunteer at Helping Hands for several years. I know many of the folks who come for a noon meal. Most are food insecure due to a disability and/or lack of income to provide the funds for food, shelter, medicine, etc.

I am hopeful that the City of Florence will allow Helping Hands a place to continue its outreach to serve those in need.

I can’t imagine how any caring person would object.

— Jan Hirsch

Reaching out not the same as a ‘handout’
My son-in-law works for the USAID extension within the State Department. He has visited more than 40 cities in 17 countries. I asked him what his definition of a vagrant was. He talked about the millions of people who live in the illegal slums around the cities in Pakistan, Mexico and South America. He said those governments have given up trying to disband these communities, and churches have set up schools for the children.

Sanitation is minimal and electricity is scarce.

What is the American version of a slum?

Inner-city tenements and subsidized housing are only available for some of the people who need them. Where do the rest of the homeless people live here in our country?

Wikipedia defines the word “vagrant” as: The condition of living without a home or regular emplyment.

The terms “handout” and “humanitarian aid” are both defined by Wikipedia as: “Something given freely to those in need.”

The true definition of each is determined by human perception and belief.

Should disabled veterans who live in their cars be defined as “vagrants?”

How about families who have lost their home because of medical bills from extensive hospitalizations?

Shall we categorize teens who have been forced out of their homes from abuse or drugs as “vagrants?”

Let’s come up with a term for young couples struggling to pay rent and utilities while working minimum wage jobs.

Helping Hands Coalition for the homeless has been tirelessly searching out a building in Florence in which to serve hot meals for these same types of “vagrants.”

I hope our community and the Florence Planning Commission will reach out in support of these efforts.

— Sue Thornton


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