Roses and thorns: 3-24-19




A rose to the approximately 20 volunteers, the majority from Columbus Air Force Base, who answered the call from the United Way of Lowndes County Saturday. Volunteers assisted home-owners whose properties were damaged by the Feb. 23 tornado with bringing debris out to the road-side, where it can be collected and hauled away. Because the debris removal company cannot go onto private property, residents were required to bring the debris to the public right-of-way. For many, including older residents, the job was more than they could handle alone. Thanks to these volunteers the residents are making an important step in recovery. It's nice to know that a month after the storm, there are still those in our community who haven't forgotten their neighbors in need. Good job, volunteers! 




A rose to the Lowndes County Foundation, which is following through in its efforts to address our community's biggest challenges in a tangible way. The LCF issued a challenge to its six volunteer task forces Thursday, announcing a pool of $30,000 in grants meant to help focus initiatives that grew from a "community conversation" held in March 2018. LCF formed six task forces of community stakeholders -- focused on community engagement, education proficiency, leadership, poverty, crime and addiction, respectively. The endeavor was meant, in part, to help LCF award its grant funds in the most impactful way. The LCF is asking its task forces to raise funds for their chosen nonprofit or project, and the foundation will match 50 percent of those funds up to $5,000. The fundraising deadline for each task force is Dec. 3. "The grant is simply a way to encourage the community at large to get involved, to take things in their own hands and make a difference," said LCF board chairman Matt Bogue. "We kept thinking, how can we take our modest resources and try to multiply it and have a bigger impact? What if we made our task forces also responsible for raising funds and we could multiply our influence? We came up with a challenge grant." We encourage each task force to rise to that challenge and keep the momentum going. 




A rose to all the victims of sexual abuse by Mississippi priests going back decades. This week, the Catholic Diocese of Jackson released a list of 37 Catholic clergy who the diocese said had been credibly accused of sexual abuse dating back 80 years. While some Catholics believe the diocese's action show a commitment to acknowledge and confront its sordid history, others are more skeptical, pointing out that none of the priests, 27 of which are deceased, ever faced the legal consequences of their crimes. No matter your view on what this means, it's important that the focus remains on the people who matter most: the children who were abused. Let's hope the diocese's actions reflect a genuine change in how the church handles the cases. Nothing short of that is acceptable. 




A rose to the Mississippi State University Office of Sustainability for its efforts in promoting recycling on campus. Last fall, the office sponsored a glass recycling event and another one will be held on Wednesday, April 17th beginning at 2 PM at the MSU RecPlex which is on the new Hail State Blvd. south of Blackjack Road. People have plenty of time to save glass for recycling instead of adding it to our county landfill. Research shows that when recycling programs are well-organized and plentiful, people soon develop a habit of recycling. That's good for our community, our state, our nation and our planet.



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