News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Volunteer agencies need more resources


Recently you published a letter from Robert Stone, relating the difficulty his friend encountered trying to find someone to help her raise $2,500 to mend her trailer's roof. Since Habitat for Humanity, PACT and the Committee on Church Cooperation were unable to help her, he questioned where money contributed to them was going.

Mr. Stone seems to believe that volunteer agencies have unlimited resources. The opposite is true. A volunteer agency is like a family living on a very limited income. Choices must be made daily as to how the little money that comes in can be best used.

We are regular volunteers at the CCC. We see firsthand where their money and donated goods go. The CCC helps burned out families refurnish their homes. It provides needed food and clothing, at no charge, to families in need. It gives out free school supplies to families who qualify and makes sure that needy families have a good meal and gifts for their children at Christmas. In addition, it helps with the cost of medicines for those who can't afford it.

It does all this with the help of people who volunteer their time — individuals and groups — and with churches that donate materials and funds, and through the fundraisers it holds throughout the year.

It does not have a large enough budget to fill the needs of everyone who deserves help in Morgan County. Unfortunately, like many of us, its limited income causes it to have to choose those things that do the most good for the largest number of people.

Everyone does need to know how the money they donate is used. Become a volunteer and see for yourself just what that agency does. We know the CCC can always use more help.

Judy Simms


PACT seeks long-term solutions


Established in 1978, PACT is the oldest child abuse prevention agency in the Southeastern United States. We utilize more than 400 volunteers annually, in an effort to strengthen families, and we serve more than 10,000 people in Morgan County each year, as we continually assess community needs.

As an agency committed to children and families, we share Robert Stone's concern for needy individuals who encounter complicated family matters and difficult financial situations. His letter on Aug. 9 personifies the dilemma many experience in Morgan County. It is heartbreaking.

As a family resource center, we annually receive hundreds of calls for specific assistance. Through the benevolence of a few local churches, grant sources and concerned individuals, PACT is able to meet some of those needs when funds are available. We also share Mr. Stone's frustration regarding the limitations we have in satisfying legitimate needs.

In addition, PACT provides support through the services of our community resources specialist. This trained professional offers individuals opportunities to sit down and discuss, in person, the details of their urgent situations. Through these discussions, individuals receive opportunities to thoroughly understand their situations, and often the crisis is only a symptom of a greater problem. Through goal-setting, education, and sometimes specific assistance, resolutions to the circumstances are not just short-term, but long-term.

We recognize the value of Mr. Stone's concern for neighbors in need of assistance. We hope, too, that it is understood that PACT would love to support and provide for every single need in the community, if we could. As PACT continues to seek local partners, we challenge all concerned individuals and organizations to contact us. We welcome your support to assist us in providing for the vast number of needs in our community.

Tiki Hubbard

Executive director


More than 1 horse trainer in North Alabama


Please allow me a few minutes to respond to the article in the Aug. 7 DECATUR DAILY titled "Less Than A Whisper."

In Jim Swanner's interview, he stated he was the only Natural Horsemanship trainer in North Alabama that he knew of. I live near Decatur and have been using the Natural Horsemanship method for several years now. The principles I use are: leadership, instilling confidence in the horse and rider, and breaking through the predator/prey barrier; join up; and safety. I teach horses by mimicking games that they play in their natural setting.

I never use forceful methods to teach the horse. Everything is done by giving the horses confidence in the person who leads them.

Chris Watson


Evolution not appropriate for cartoons


What is the meaning of the ridiculous cartoon on page A10 of the July 19 DAILY? Is that supposed to be the steps in the "evolution" of mankind? Step one can be found in zoos and step five can be seen in most any civilized nation. But where can one find steps 2, 3 and 4? Are they the so-called "missing links?" If they are links, why are they missing? If they are missing, how do we know they are links?

Don Gregg


Media should not report events from past


Time has passed since the tragic accident that took Tom Coggin's life.

To my understanding, it was more than 20 years ago that Tom was found guilty of breaking the law. He served the designated time for his actions, along with coming back into society and becoming an upstanding citizen. His community had nothing but praise for the friendship and assistance he gave without being asked. He was there for me, offering assistance, when my family needed him. I had the opportunity to say "thank you" to Tom and want his children and family to know that he was always the same in the nine years I knew him.

Here are my thoughts regarding the aftermath of his accident. The news media, including Channel 19 and THE DAILY, took the position that their journalists were reporting the news. When a journalist goes into archive files to retrieve records more than 20 years old, it is not "news," nor is it appropriate background for a grieving family. Channel 48 went so far as to say, "there were no drugs found on the plane."

This man's children were young during his time of adversity and one wasn't even born. How terribly sad for them to be exposed to and relive this difficult, brief period of Tom's life when there was so much good to be said.

Is this journalism, or is this slander of the dead since they are not here to speak for themselves?

I am asking THE DECATUR DAILY, Channel 19 and Channel 48 to make a public apology to Tom Coggin's family. They showed a lack of consideration for his memory and his family during a tragic loss. Much of the material reported had no relevance to today's news, beyond the report of a tragic accident causing the untimely passing of a fellow human being.

Bill Owens


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