Citizen review boards do help foster care system
There have been numerous articles in the Herald-Leader pointing out the need to look over the shoulders of often overworked social workers to protect the needs, and sometimes even the lives, of children who are wards of the court in foster homes or in juvenile institutional settings.
There has been little or no mention of hundreds of volunteers across the state who attempt to do this, the Citizens Foster Care Review Boards.
These boards meet monthly to advise judges responsible for children under the custody of the courts. They undergo yearly training, are bound to confidentiality, and meet monthly to review all court custody children from their county.
All cases are reviewed at least semiannually and new cases or those thought to be in difficulty are reviewed more often. The group looks at each child's physical, emotional and educational needs and reviews an ongoing plan.
They make plans to protect children, strengthen families, reunite families or, if necessary, seek adoption. For some foster children, such efforts extend even beyond age 18. The responsible judge then decides on a course of action.
Not all counties have formed such committees. Clark County has one team of a half dozen volunteers. Fayette County has many teams with perhaps 100 volunteers.
Many counties don't have any, but they are needed everywhere, and their value in protecting and assisting dependent children should not be discounted.
Helpful, friendly place
I lost my dog of 10 years when my garage door failed to close completely on my way to work one recent morning. Needless to say, my family and I were distraught and frantic to find our pet.
I contacted the Lexington Humane Society and the person on the phone was incredibly helpful. They took a lost report and offered suggestions to help bring my dog home safely.
At almost two weeks and no sign of him, I stopped by the Humane Society on my way home from work for my fourth walk-through.
Each time I leave there, I am so grateful to the people affiliated with it. The employees have been optimistic and supportive during this difficult time.
They work to reunite owners and pets and to find great adoption homes for those animals that are not reclaimed. They offer a range of services and I am proud to have such an establishment available for the people of Lexington.
While need knows no season, many of us are more inclined to donate during the holidays as we reflect on our many blessings and give to many deserving charities.
To animal owners, animal lovers and all kindhearted residents of Lexington, I ask that you consider donating to the Humane Society.
While my story may not have a happy ending, so many others do.
Church will be fair
Those readers who believe Southland Christian Church has gotten too large obviously haven't experienced what this church family is all about.
They probably do not realize how much the church continues to help the less-fortunate families in Lexington and surrounding areas with the "Helping Through Him" ministry.
They are obviously not aware that Southland is a healing place for hundreds of people with alcohol, drug and other addictions. They probably have not experienced the goose bumps at the Jesus Prom, where every year many Down Syndrome and other challenged individuals are made to feel loved and special.
You see, Southland is a church where people cry and people laugh, a church where you can love and most of all a place where you can receive love. Please stop by and feel what I mean.
With regard to Perkins Restaurant, please do not believe all the half-truths and the misinformation you read in the newspapers, or the rumors you hear on the street.
I can promise that Southland Christian Church will do whatever is just and honest in a business situation like this.
There is no doubt that Mark Perkins is honorable and a good businessman and, therefore, realizes the tremendous potential to significantly increase and maintain his business with the completion of the Southland campus on Richmond Road.
Paper adds to litter
My wife and I go for a 2-mile walk in our neighborhood each morning. We look forward to doing so every morning, except Sunday.
This is the morning we spend much of our time picking up the advertising papers that are stuffed inside those pink plastic bags, or that have come out of the bags and are blowing all over the neighborhood.
The newspaper carriers throw them out on the entrance of driveways, on the sidewalk or wherever, never up near the front of the house. This is the same with the regular newspaper — sometimes they get them in the yard, but never near the front door. I and a lot of my neighbors have complained to the paper, but to no avail. Some of the neighbors have canceled the paper for this very reason.
The people who do not subscribe for the Sunday paper get these pink packets of advertising thrown in front of their homes. whether they want them or not.
I have talked to some of the neighbors about the pink YES advertising bundles, and they tell me that they just put them in the trash week after week.
I would venture to say that only two or three out of every 10 households take the time to look at them.
Couldn't a survey or something be taken to see if the people really want them?
I hope the paper can do something about this litter problem, because that is exactly what it is, litter.
Each Saturday morning, I read Faith & Values columnist Paul Prather first. He offers excellent ideas and thoughtful commentary. On Nov. 26, he outdid himself.
Prather reviewed and commented on Sally Quinn's five lessons about religion. They are:
1. No one knows much about God. Faith is all we have. The best we can do is become a good learner.
2. Different religions are similar. Prather said differences among religions "far outweigh the similarities." At their best, all religions strive to provide insight into the unknowable. At their worse, all religions strive to control humanity. So, at their best, and at their worst, all religions are similar.
3. Religion is about everything in life.
4. Cultures of humans strive to understand by searching for meaning. Different cultures find meaning in different places. Hence, different religions.
5. There is no answer to the reality of suffering. No explanation hints at any possible justification for suffering, It is a mystery that must be endured.
Prather took issue with Quinn's observations regarding the nature of God. He said that someone has to be right and someone has to be wrong.
When it comes to understanding reality and God, I feel it is far more likely that we all are very wrong.
Throughout history, the true nature of God has always exceeded our capacity to comprehend. Our very best efforts to understand are but a shadow of what really is, and of God.
Kudos, Prather. Your efforts are appreciated.