Letters to the Editor - Jan. 4


Published: Monday, January 4, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 1, 2010 at 10:49 p.m.

A downtown where the homeless live

My husband and I just returned from a week in San Diego. We are amazed by the beauty and usability of the downtown area.

Within the tall buildings, it was apparent that people lived and thrived there. It was also inundated with commercial buildings and businesses, including an awesome open air mall several stories high.

What was most surprising to us was the humongous homeless population. We could not begin to count the number of men (mostly) who were pushing shopping carts overflowing with their belongings or suitcases on wheels topped off with sleeping bags and other items. When it got dark, they pulled out their beds and lined them up side-by-side next to Office Depot or the U.S. Post Office.

As classy and clean as the city was, as inundated with the homeless as it was, they seemed to live side-by-side with no apparent animosity. We did not see any begging, though there may be some.

We purchased a number of Starbucks gift cards and handed them out for Christmas gifts. The most rewarding part of our Christmas holiday was their grateful response followed by a toothless grin.

Jane Crawford,

Gainesville

Punishment is a cruel profit motive

I question the justice of having prisons run for profit, which I believe is an increasing trend in this country. I think that it's not wise to make a profit motive for punishing prisoners.

Instead of putting people in jail for crimes against themselves (i.e. drug addition) they should be treated for their addiction.

John Bockris,

Gainesville

A Christmas story

I worked at a Gainesville convenience store and had to work overnight on Christmas Eve. A gentleman entered the store at approximately 7:30 a.m. Christmas morning and said "Merry Christmas!"

I replied, " Merry Christmas sir." He said: "I am sorry you have to work on Christmas," and he laid an envelope on the counter.

I waited on my next customer and then I opened the envelope. To my surprise it contained a Christmas card and a $50 bill. I ran out the door to thank the gentleman, but he was gone.

So to the man who surprised me: You made a 50-year-old grandma believe in Santa again.

Jacqueline Batie,

Gainesville

Serving others

My sons, Andra' and Charles (CJ) Thomas, wanted to share the Christmas spirit with people less fortunate than us.

They brought several turkeys and hams, and on Christmas Day they drove the food to the Main Street area until they found some people that were homeless. They parked and fixed plates out of the trunk of Andra's car. Then they left the rest of the food with the homeless.

I am so proud of my sons for showing what Christmas is all about; showing Godly love and bringing joy to others.

Sherite Thomas,

Gainesville

Volunteers needed

Happy New Year! This is the time of year we should thank all the physical therapists who volunteer their time and talent to non-profit clinics.

For all of those in the medical field who volunteer their services at non-profit centers, thank you! For the rest, please consider volunteering. It is desperately needed by patients who require care but lack insurance or funds.

Barbara Searcy,

Lawtey

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