Sunday, October 18, 2009

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

In the summer of 2007, my sister and her husband, Martha and Dan Mosher hired a delivery person to deliver products to hospitals for their company Mosher Medical. Alan Watt has proven to be an excellent employee with his attention to detail and strong work ethic. He never complains, even when the deliveries take him late into the evening driving through a Northeastern Ohio snowstorm. He's one of those people that when you meet him, you somehow feel good. Like somehow, you'll be better for knowing him.

Last year, Alan needed to take a few days off to take his wife Teresa for some medical testing. Many tests and procedures were performed until the doctors finally delivered the dismal news. Teresa, a young mother of three little girls, was diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer.

Teresa and Alan are raising their family in a 1920's farmhouse with limited funds. The house is in desperate need of repairs. Last winter, the girls had to sleep on the living room floor because the upstairs windows were broken to the point they could not keep heat in the second floor. This summer they were without running water for 3 weeks. A generous neighbor was able to repair their well which remedied the water problem, but there are many more needs. Their furnace and water heater needs replaced and the electric system in their home needs brought up to safety standards. They are months behind in their mortgage payments and their medical bills, even with health insurance, have become overwhelming. They were looking at alternative medicine but have had to put off going to seek additional treatment because they don't have enough gas money to make the trip. Teresa contributes to the family income by teaching at the school the girls attend, but as the cancer spreads she will be unable to continue working. These are hardworking people that life has just thrown them into difficult circumstances. They would never ask for help. In fact, they often express their gratitude for what they do have, instead of complaining about what they do not have. They are truly inspiring.

I think the world of my sister and brother in law. They have worked hard to help Alan and his family beyond what a normal employer might do. It was no coincidence that Alan walked to fill an open position at their company. I believe God puts people together for a reason.

Generous friends and neighbors have stepped in to do what they can—but now, the medical bills and housing needs as we approach this upcoming winter have become insurmountable. We know that our world is full of generous and caring people that are willing to help a neighbor in need, even when you don’t know them personally. We’re hoping if we all pull together, and everyone can give just a little, we can help this family.

The short-term goal is to provide funds to enable them to keep their home and facilitate the necessary repairs as we approach this winter. The long-term goal is to set aside money for the girls educational needs in the future. A benevolent fund has been set up at First Merit Bank to raise money to meet these goals.

Please view the following link to meet the Alan Watt Family and consider donating to the benevolent fund.
You can stop by any First Merit bank location or mail your donation in any amount to:
First Merit
30 Springside Drive
Akron, Oh 44333
Make check payable to: Alan Watt Family Benevolent Fund

Thank you so very much, in advance, for your consideration.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Can't We All Just TRY to Get Along?

President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, it was announced this past Friday, for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples," the Norwegian Nobel Committee said. From the reaction of so many, you'd think it was a "war" prize.

It is troubling to me to hear the outcry of the critics of this decision, not because I think the President was the most deserving person to win the prize, but because of the way some are using the honor to continue to criticize and tear down the man on a deeply personal level. The naysayers blast the decision, saying its "all about politics."

Isn't everything?

The comedy skit on SNL summed it up best, when the "parody president" humbly acknowledged he won it for simply "not being George W Bush." My thinking is, we've been so hated around the world for so many years, isn't the fact that we are now viewed in a more positive light from the outside in worth celebrating? Even just a little?

For the record, I'm not one to talk politics. I do have strong opinions on various issues, but I express them to very few. I stay away from political discussions, socially, in the workplace, and especially around my family, who gets along on most issues, but is now so divided politically.

Calling myself a moderate is probably a cop-out, but the bottom line is I try to use common sense in my voting preferences, never voting strictly by party but instead voting for who I believe to be the best candidate. Neither party's platform suits my philosophy. I lean fiscally conservative but socially liberal. While I don't want the government over-regulating my life or my pocketbook, too little regulation allowed for the greed and corruption that led us to this current recession.

I don't agree with every decision our President is making, but I sure didn't agree with many our last president made either. In both cases the personal attacks on both sides sickens me. I am so tired of the hate-filled talk that spews from the mouths of these talk show hosts every day. What happened to our ability to disagree and still respect the person, and the office? I believe that both George Bush and Barack Obama are good men personally. Men who love their country and their families. Men who believed they were and are making the best decisions with the information they have. Information we can't possibly know about. Information no candidate knows about until he wins the office; and only then he is presented with intelligence that would probably send our heads spinning.

There might be a million things wrong with the proposed health care plan, for example, but why say "no" to everything the president proposes, but come up with no viable alternatives? Why after 9 months, is this president being crucified for not fixing what it took almost a decade to create? I believe with all my heart and soul that the average American just wants to see our politicians working together for us instead of against each other.

A year ago the view from outside this country was so negative. The rest of the world viewed us with such disdain--and now--we are viewed more positively due to the diplomatic skills of our president. Does that deserve a Nobel Peace Prize? I don't know. But he won it. Along with the office of the President of the United States, because the majority of people voting seems to think he deserved both.

If he doesn't win another term, we've got 3 plus more years with this president. For for those who love's great. For those who don't it will be a long 3 years. But isn't it time we accept it and try to work together? Isn't it time for peace at home?

For the common good: can't we and our elected officials just try to get along?