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/