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Christmas makes us aware of how much stuff we have

Posted: December 21, 2011 - 1:05am

We have way too much stuff.

I’ve become aware of how much excess stuff we have by seeing, during the past few weeks, some examples of where a fraction of our no-longer-wanted stuff goes, and how much more of it is needed.

Hope Soap was created as a sister organization of It’s Spooky to be Hungry. It never was as ambitious as Spooky, and has sort of languished since Spooky was handed off to Golden Harvest Food Bank.

Yet Hope Soap was a favorite of mine because of its simplicity. It collects toiletries – especially those individual-sized containers provided in hotel rooms – and then packages and distributes them to those in need such as homeless shelters and women’s shelters.

Along with Wild Birds Unlimited, The News-Times office has continued to collect for Hope Soap. We have a lot of frequent travelers in our community, and many of them are reliable donors who drop off bags full of little bottles of shampoo and bars of soap, which we then redistribute to the agencies that need them.

Recently I delivered some of those supplies to SafeHomes in Augusta and to When Help Can’t Wait in Martinez. SafeHomes uses the supplies for its shelter, and When Help Can’t Wait shares them with residents of nursing homes.

Also in the past couple of weeks, just because we heard of a need, we collected children’s socks and underwear to help out Child Enrichment. I dropped off those very generous donations Tuesday at their Augusta office.

At each of these places, one thing struck me: They have lots of stuff, too – but their stuff is mostly our excess stuff. And even then, it isn’t enough.

So: As you load up on even more stuff for Christmas, plan to unload some excess stuff at your favorite charity. They need it, and they’ll appreciate it.

Keep the fruitcake, though. I’m pretty sure they don’t need that.

In Sunday’s column I listed several adults who failed to take action after hearing reports of what they believed to be inappropriate activity by Scott Dean, now convicted of child molestation. One of those I mentioned was the language coach of one of the Dean children.

I noted that the girl had complained about improprieties, and the coach had told her to “tell someone” else.

The coach wasn’t happy that I made it sound as if she shrugged off the complaint. Far from it, she says.

What she’d actually done is advise the girl to report the activity to law enforcement or her school authorities, but the girl refused. The language coach believed she couldn’t report it herself because it would be considered hearsay, so no further action was taken.

It is literally true, then, that she told the girl to tell someone else, and took no other action herself. The coach understandably insists, however, that her actions were not because of indifference.

(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. Email barry.paschal@newstimes online.com, or call 706-863-6165, extension 106. Follow at twitter.com/
barrypaschal.)

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Comments (19)

Riverman1

Still Trying to Pin the Blame

Concerning who is to blame for not going after Dean earlier, as I said there is much blame to go around and it's wrong to only mention those little people who had good reason to fear the consequences after seeing the lack of consequences for Dean after Textgate. That includes the female deputy. I was going to leave this matter alone, but I see it necessary to continue to combat this attitude.

The whole matter is such a serious and distasteful one no one wanted to be the one to step up and take the heat that would surely follow. I'll give you an instance of the same reluctance AFTER everything was known. Some were taking up for Renee Dean in print saying it was wrong for others to point out her involvement.

Keep in mind the Rubenesque Mrs. Dean stood by him completely. She had shared the bed with him and the girl according to testimony. She specifically broke the orders of the judge when she attempted to arrange a meeting with the daughter who was molested, Dean and some type of feel good counselor. When the judge found out he almost locked her up and chastised her strongly.

She was portrayed by some in the media as poor little Renee and it was strongly said it was wrong to question her motives. That's the kind of attitude that allowed Scott Dean to go about his sexual perversions for years. The victims mentioned, the high school girl and her mother, the English teacher and the female deputy don't deserve any of this regardless of the nuances of what was said. We should be above that pettiness and criticize the ones that actually enabled him to continue.

Riverman1

My comments are being delayed

I answered the issue of who should have reported Dean in detail. Maybe it will show up soon.

Little Lamb

Soon

I guess not, RM. It's been five hours so far.

LBenedict

Riverman, I cannot PM you...I

Riverman, I cannot PM you...I have some things you will find interesting. How can I contact you>

LBenedict

Riverman, I cannot PM you...I

Riverman, I cannot PM you...I have some things you will find interesting. How can I contact you?

csminor

On reporting abuse

Mr. Paschal:
Anyone who works with children or youth on either a professional or volunteer basis should know that any suspicion of child abuse must be promptly reported to the authorities by that worker. This requirement holds irrespective of the worker's personal opinions about the veracity or verifiability of the evidence. Figuring out whether there is any substance to a report is the job of the police, not of the worker. I've worked with kids on a volunteer basis in a number of organizations over the past twenty years and I think I've been grilled on this issue at least once by each of those organizations. I'm amazed that a professional working in the PS system appears to have acknowledged to you that she was ignorant of what any Sunday School teacher, Scout leader, or day care provider in the county would have recognized as standard operating procedure.

Riverman1

Lee, Contact Me This Way

Lee, contact me at pointcove@yahoo.com.

Barry, where is my post? Was it held up for a reason? Talk to me. I'll edit if you tell me what's wrong.

ccnt

Spam filter

Riverman1: It appears your post was held by the spam filter, likely because you posted two lengthy comments within a very short period of time. It has now been released.

Riverman1

Well, thank you, CCNT

It took about 24 hours. It just throws things out of sequence when it takes that long. Like I said, if I say something wrong, let me know and I'll change it. This is the second time that has happened. I don't remember making another lengthy post at about the same time? Do I type that fast?

Little Lamb

Peter Paul Reubens

RM, it might have been your use of the word "Reubenesque" that kicked your post into the spam filter.

:-)

Riverman1

Actually, that's a polite term

LL, that's usually thought of as being a polite way to say fat. Shows what I get for trying to be nice. Heh.

Riverman1

From Merriam-Webster

Definition of RUBENESQUE

: of, relating to, or suggestive of the painter Rubens or his works; especially: plump or rounded usually in a pleasing or attractive way

Riverman1

According to the dictionary

Rubenesque means plump in an attractive way in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Really, I was trying to be nice.

Willow Bailey

Riverman reply

River, I came over here for that? The definition of "Rubenesque"?

Willow

Willow Bailey

Barry's Hope Soap

Thanks for sharing this story. I am going to start collecting as we travel and ask friends and family to as well.

Willow

Riverman1

Haha...Willow, it's gone again.

Willow, I tried to correct one little typo and the thing disappeared again. Dang. Heh.

Riverman1

So My Post is Gone for Good?

I accept the part about filters and all, but after the post appeared again, I tried to edit one typo and it has been gone for a couple of days. It was a hard hitting post, putting the blame where it should be, that I'd like to see again. If you will e-mail it to me, I'll post it in the Chronicle comments....unless you put it back up here.

ccnt

Your post is back

Riverman: Something in that post sends it to the spam filter. You should probably leave it as is.

Riverman1

You Got that Right

Yeah, I'm sure there's something in that post alright. I won't touch it. Too bad it was down all week until the new edition came out and few saw it.

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