Not easy call to end furniture program
Re July 16 article, "Catholic Charities to put end to furniture program": I want to use this opportunity to discuss the decision to close the Catholic Charities furniture program in Rotterdam Junction and clear up some misconceptions.
We have operated this program for 10 years, helping people receive used donated furniture items. In that time, the scope and the scale of the program presented challenges for success. With further research, we found that other non-profits in the areas we serve were operating programs using similar models of providing used furniture to people in need.
There are many needs in our community, and Catholic Charities is committed to helping as many of the poor and vulnerable as it can. We are also committed to being good stewards of our donations and our funding. After a thorough review, it was decided that the furniture program, in its current form, would need to be closed. Yes, it was a challenge to find funds for the program, as it is for many of our programs. But our commitment to the community and to our mission led us to take a hard look at the money we were spending on this service, and we decided that it would be better spent feeding the hungry, housing the homeless and providing other outreach services in our area.
Please know that the decision to close this program was not taken lightly nor did it come easily. Many volunteers and hard-working people poured a lot of energy into running the service. I am grateful for the support and proud of the work done there.
Catholic Charities will continue to adapt to our communities' needs and to explore other possible options to address unmet needs -- including the possibility of providing furniture services again at some future date.
Vincent W. Colonno
The writer is chief executive officer of Catholic Charities.
Lying leaders at fault for world atrocities
Just like Pinocchio, [Russian President] Vladimir Putin's lies about who bombed the Malaysian airplane in Ukraine will grow and grow.
For he, like many of our own leaders, never take responsibility for their blunders. They lie and rarely take responsibility for the human destruction they cause. Remaining aloof and almost separating themselves from any wrongdoing, they have a much better technique, i.e., the best defense is an even better offense, which is practiced at every opportunity provided to them by our ever-obliging media. No accountability as they continue to set the world on fire.
We in America are all too familiar with atrocities perpetrated by our elected officials. We often choose leaders with what I call the "John Wayne syndrome." They act like they live in a world of make-believe, a world with no consequence; as they barely skim over the human cost of their barbaric decisions and continue to get away with it.
Mr. Putin's recklessness is easily matched by our own Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz/Perle warlords. Weapons of mass destruction indeed. They all knew WMDs did not exist, but continuously kept at us anyway with their very successful "the best defense is a better offense" technique -- just like Mr. Putin. For all of them: their narcissist disregard for the welfare of humanity is unconscionable and should be considered criminal instead of ignored, which is what we all do. Ignore it and then move on to the next killing field.
What is the difference between Pinocchio, John Wayne and some of our world leaders? Perhaps there isn't any, and perhaps we should all give more thought to who we allow to govern. Wish we could throw them all out and start over, but that's another story.
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