Volunteer Washington County needs community support
To the editor:
I am writing to recognize Volunteer Washington County (VWC) and the magnificent work that is being doing done by that organization. VWC has been very instrumental in coordinating volunteer efforts throughout Washington County and helping nonprofit organizations gain countywide exposure.
As executive director of Memorial Recreation, I should know. Memorial Recreation has been the beneficiary of two VWC projects. Last year, in honor of MLK Day, VWC facilitated a project to repair water-damaged plaster walls that had gone unaddressed for years. Thanks to VWC and its partners, Potomac Valley Building Restoration and Lowes of Hagerstown, the walls have been repaired and the room can now be used to meet the needs of the youth served by Memorial Recreation.
This year, VWC and Memorial Recreation co-hosted the MLK Day of Service basketball tournament. The money raised from this tournament will help fund an outdoor basketball court at Memorial Recreation and support future countywide volunteer projects. More importantly, this project energized our community and provided opportunities for children to engage in a meaningful volunteer project. The children planned and implemented a ceremony to honor King, helped with the concessions, and assisted at the tournament in numerous ways from singing the national anthem to keeping the clock and scoreboard to cleaning up after the event. I recently had three young teens volunteer to assist with the Oak Hill House tournament. I am grateful that these children feel empowered to make a difference.
I was surprised to learn that VWC is run by volunteers. I’m concerned about the sustainability of an organization that receives no funding from local governments, especially when it is addressing critical needs. I would encourage funding sources and foundations to consider all of the benefits that have been recognized and those still yet to come with the services offered by VWC.
While budgets might be tight, our community cannot afford to be without the services that VWC provides. It has demonstrated its commitment to the community, and I think the community should return the favor.
Karen Cook, executive director
Memorial Recreation Center
Mason-Dixon Workcamp a transformative experience
To the editor:
The Mason-Dixon Workcamp will take place the week of June 16 in Washington County and in Waynesboro, Pa. There is something special that happens, and having participated in workcamps in three different states, I’ve seen the power of the experience.
A workcamp can:
• Lift up a community that might be beaten down by the economy, time and neglect, or tragic events such as what happened in Newtown, Conn.
• Give hope to those who live on the margins of society. These could be senior citizens on fixed income, single parents struggling to raise their children or individuals debilitated with chronic medical conditions. These could be your neighbors, extended family or even you.
• Change the lives of the youth who participate. I can personally attest to the life-changing transformation I’ve seen with the youth who participate and serve the host community.
• Energize local volunteers who both serve, witness and become part of the change. In the end, they know that they’ve been the hands that God has used to do his work.
• Help to connect local businesses to the community. Businesses that support the workcamp effort are making a strong statement that they believe a healthy community benefits everyone, and they are the ones who are especially stepping up to help the people around them. We want to thank Manitowoc and the Community Foundation of Washington County for their recent financial donations to help make this mission a possibility.
• Town governments demonstrating the leadership to grow their communities and transform them from a collection of houses to a community with a shared identity and pride. We are particularly blessed with strong leadership in Funkstown, Keedysville, Smithsburg, Hagerstown, Williamsport and Waynesboro.
Please consider becoming a part of this event.
Amending the Constitution not so easily done
To the editor:
In a recent letter to the editor, the writer mentioned a repeal of the Second Amendment. It will take a lot more than a few members of Congress deciding to do away with it to make it happen.
First, someone must introduce a bill to begin the action, then it must go through the committee process to see if it will even come up for a vote. Then, both houses have to pass it by a two-thirds majority; then, it must be ratified by three-fourths of the states. I’m sure people who love the Constitution would follow the repeal if it were to happen and if it followed the constitutional standard.
We are seeing a divide in this country between those who revere the Constitution and its principles and see the need to follow it as written (and amended) and those who feel it is either outdated or easily malleable to whatever certain individuals want it to say.
As for me, I believe God and the Constitution (as written) helped this country achieve greatness. But as we drift further from both, the foundation of this country begins to crumble and we could easily become the authors of our own demise.
David S. Wilkinson