Letters to the Editor 5/8

May 09, 2001

Letters to the Editor 5/8

Hospice helps

To the editor:

During National Volunteer Week, I would like to recognize a very special group of Hospice of the Panhandle volunteers and one particular member of that group. The goal of hospice is to provide for the whole person, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Although all members of the hospice team can provide spiritual care, our volunteer chaplains are a much appreciated, valuable resource.

During 2000, our chaplain visits tripled in number; our number of volunteer chaplains did not triple. That means we had some very busy volunteers helping us. As the person who assigns chaplains, I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciated their willingness to visit when asked. With the uncertainties of hospice, a common question is, "Do I need to go today or can this wait until tomorrow?" When it really can't wait, they go, often at a moment's notice.


The Rev. Floyd Smith has worked as a volunteer chaplain for seven years. For all of that time he has always agreed to see every patient he possibly could. On more than one occasion he has stated that he couldn't see how any pastor could ever be too busy to see a hospice patient.

During the past year he agreed to see eight different patients. In all he made 57 visits as a hospice chaplain. In some homes he found patients seeking peace in their final days. Sometimes they wanted to talk about their death and funeral arrangements, but family members weren't able to listen.

Sometimes the patient was more concerned about his family and how they would manage. A common thread that I have seen is that if he has enough time, the patient and family will become his friends. They talk, pray, and sometimes cry together. His concern is with the entire family, including pets. One clue to his effectiveness is the fact that more than one family has subsequently attended his church, Hedgesville Baptist, so that his care has been ongoing.

In 2000, seven volunteer chaplains were assigned to 44 patients. One of those chaplains has since moved from the area. I would love to be able to add new members to our group. I hope anyone who feels called to this special ministry will contact me at Hospice of the Panhandle, 1-304-264-0406.

Pam Shanklin

Volunteer Coordinator

Hospice of the Panhandle

Martinsburg, W.Va.

Truck stop foes are shortsighted

To the editor:

The latest objections over the construction of a truck stop in Washington County have been that the quality of life would seriously erode - that an increase in prostitution would surely prevail and that an increased drug trafficking would follow.

The quality of life in any community is dependent upon the fabric of those citizens already living within that community. Regardless of what is built, be it a truck stop or a museum, its presence will not alter the quality of life that already exists.

Regarding increased prostitution and drug trafficking, these are already here, and therefore are non-issues. These are excuses. These are flimsy attempts by some citizens to halt the construction of a truck stop that really is needed.

All consumer products are delivered by trucks. Neither planes nor trains make these. Yet there seems to be continuous deliberations within Washington County about whether or not a particular truck stop should be built. For me it's not an issue of quality of life or prostitution or drug trafficking, but rather a concern of safety.

OTRs (over-the-road) drivers are permitted a maximum of 10 hours of driving within a 24 hour period. If any OTR must travel through our county in order to get to a truck stop in another state and that driver is fatigued then the potential for a serious road wreck is increased. I don't want that driver and rig plowing down on me and my family just because a minority of local citizens were successful in getting a proposed truck stop blocked. What I would prefer to see is not only this truck stop built but more of them throughout the state.

Jim Kimberly


Keeping free

To the editor:

I live in the community, not institutions. We want to stay out in the community for good. All people want to be free forever more.

We need your help to support the Living Free Campaign for Freedom. All people need to be free for good. I work with people on the go and the living free for freedom!

I love the community. All people live in the community for good. The Living Free Campaign and People On the Go office has stayed quite busy in the last year. We want to be free for the next two years! We would like to stay in the community for good.

Michael Arthur Taylor

Living Free Campaign Coordinator


The Herald-Mail Articles