Letters to the editor - 3/1/03

March 03, 2003

'Faith-based' idea will be discussed at March 4 event

To the editor:

President Bush has proposed that religious institutions serving social needs in our communities be eligible for federal funds. This is a departure from former administration policies that forbid religious institutions' participation.

Should churches, synagogue, mosques and the religious organizations they support have access to taxpayer money when the purposes are often at odds?

Realizing that religious organizations have at their core the evangelization of persons, does this give governmental support to religious activities? What are the issues of "religion and state?" What resources does an interfaith perspective offer?

To discuss these issues, the Interfaith Coalition of Washington County will hold a forum on Tuesday, March 4 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Frostburg Center at 16 W. Washington St. in downtown Hagerstown.


For more information, contact Rabbi Janice Garfunkel at 301-733-5039, or visit the Web site at Thank you.

Pastor Ed Poling


Bless Beverly staff

To the editor:

I want to bring to the attention of the citizens of Washington County and the City of Hagerstown a very special group of people, the staff of Beverly Healthcare of Hagerstown. My son Jeremy was involved in a near fatal traffic accident in June of 2000. Due to their fast reaction time, emergency crews rushed him to our local trauma center where he received the best care and was given a second chance at life.

To these wonderful people I will always owe a debt that I will never be able to repay. After his stay at our medical center he was sent to a rehab hospital but was only there a short time. It was recommended to us that he was in need of long-term nursing care.

Thus, his mom started the search for a facility close to his home in Virginia. After much hard work his mom located Beverly Healthcare of Hagerstown and I went there to check it out. After visiting the facility I agreed with her that this was the place for Jeremy to be.

Now while Jeremy was in our medical center and the rehab hospital he was under constant monitoring, 24/7 and that was a source of comfort to me. So I became concerned that he might not be able to receive the same type of care after he was placed into a nursing home.

Also, since he was still in a coma he needed lots of therapy, trachea and feeding tube care plus all of his personal needs had to be addressed.

Dan Meyers, the executive director, knew of his extensive needs and told me later that he was apprehensive about having him brought to Beverly, but that the admissions director, Rose Long, convinced him that she felt they could help him. Thank you Rose, for believing in Jeremy and your staff.

Joe Rudolph

Stephenson, Va.

Community was generous to kids

To the editor:

Once again, the generous people in Washington County have played a big part in the world's largest international Christmas project for children. Operation Christmas Child collected 3,397 gift-filled shoeboxes at its Hagerstown, Williamsport and Brownsville relay centers, from Nov. 18 to 25, 2002. They were sent to children around the world.

It is heartwarming to see that, even in these challenging economic times, people will abandon their concerns and find a way to reach out to those who are less fortunate. As a result of this generosity, Operation Christmas Child has sent gifts to 6 million children in 95 countries. For many boys and girls, this was the only Christmas gift they received. In fact, this may have been the only present they've ever received.

I want to thank Solliday Oil Company, WCRH Radio and Brownsville Church of the Brethren for providing our drop-off sites. And I thank all the volunteers around Washington County who helped with collection. We are grateful to all of the churches, schools and organizations that participated. Most of all, I want to thank everyone who packed a shoebox. You can be sure that your gift has brought the joy of Christmas to the life of a child.

Though the drop-off locations are closed until November 2003, it's not too late to send gifts to children overseas. Samaritan's Purse receives boxes year-round at 80 Bamboo Road, Boone, NC 28607. For information on packing a shoebox, go online to or call 1-800-353-5949.

Thanks again to everyone who gave so generously.

Kelleigh Johnson

Operation Christmas Child

Mid-Atlantic representative

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