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Updated: January 31, 2013 6:21AM



Mental health care

The tragic events (of Newtown, Conn.) have prompted much political discussion about gun laws, police officers in schools, and barricading schools to make them “safe” for our children. There is certainly enough evidence to support either side of those arguments.

What has been most encouraging to me, however, has been the light shed on the need for increased mental health care in our nation. For many of us, we are being forced to acknowledge an issue that has always carried significant stigma and fear – fear of the unknown and the misunderstood. We will hear many requests asking us to “contact your legislator” about increasing mental health funding.

There was a published story noting that Illinois ranks 4th in the nation when it comes to the most funding cuts to state-supported mental health care since 2009. We can certainly complain to our legislators; we can also attend rallies to try to get our state and federal governments to shift money away from some other cause in the direction of what we think is more important.

Instead, I’d propose the following: personally support mental health care in your community.

It is my belief that we can have a greater impact by putting our personal resources – our time, our skills, and our finances – behind local efforts.

There are many organizations like Family Counseling Service identifying and treating mental health disorders on a local level, with direct and immediate impact in our community neighborhoods and households. In addition to serving these communities, these organizations depend on those very same communities for support. Contact us at www.aurorafcs.org or contact your local United Way to find out about other agencies that are providing these meaningful services.

Dr. Eric Ward,

Executive Director

Family Counseling Service of Aurora

About homelessness

The journalist (Beacon-News staff writer Stephanie Lulay) said it all in the article about the family that got an apartment after being homeless for two years. She wrote that her article was about homelessness, not the many complex reasons people end up homeless. Bravo!

Sherry Paul

Sandwich

Too many guns

What a shame that 20 little ones with seven adults (Newtown, Conn.), mostly 5 and 6 year olds, had to lose their lives so that a few macho men can have guns to play cops and robbers and play soldier sneaking up on some harmless animal. These guns are the same guns that macho men use to commit hideous crimes like the one in Newtown. These guns are the guns that children find from hiding places in their homes to accidentally kill their friends. These are the same guns that young and old alike use in taking their own lives.

The United States is known through out the world as having one gun for almost every man, women and child in the country — 315 million. Can you imagine what the world would think if we were to put one or two policemen with loaded guns at every school in the U.S. as the macho men at National Rifle Association advocate? These macho men don’t care how many people are killed or what others think as long as they have their guns.

We must have legislation to put an end to this madness!

Russell Johnson

Sugar Grove

Lawrence lacks compassion

It was sickened to read the article on Christmas Day about the new Hesed House crosswalk, which is badly needed. A 5-year-old little girl got hit by a car!

I could not believe what 4th Ward Alderman Rick Lawrence said about the residents of Hesed House. Mr. Lawrence, I don’t find the mix of the people at Hesed House disgusting, I find your lack of compassion for people in need tremendously disgusting.

Mr. Lawrence, it is not the residents at Hesed house that hurt the community in Aurora, it is people like you, with self-righteous views that hurt the communities not only in Aurora but in our nation. I hope you or yours never have to struggle with homelessness, regardless of the circumstance.

Sherry Paul

Sandwich

Foundation to the rescue

Like other nonprofit organization serving not only Aurora but communities throughout Illinois, Breaking Free continues to be challenged by ongoing funding cuts related to the state of the economy in Illinois.

With every dollar being essential to allowing us to continue to serve our clients, we recently experienced an emerging crisis when our server unexpectedly failed and the data being stored on it was potentially lost. Like every business, data storage and access is essential to our operations. Approaching a total cost of $20,000, the combined cost of both the data retrieval and equipment replacement was significant and unbudgeted, presenting a significant challenge to our operations.

We turned to a local resource, the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley, for assistance, and were delighted when they informed us that they are providing the funding necessary to both replace the failed server and to recover the data being stored on it.

As a recipient of their generosity and support, we are extremely fortunate to have a resource like the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley available to us. We are grateful to them not only for their granting of our request but for their support of local nonprofits throughout the Fox River community.

Residents of Aurora and surrounding communities are truly fortunate to have such a local resource available that strengthens the community.

Michael Moran

Executive Director

Breaking Free, Inc.

Thanks to community

The Carr Family would like to express our deepest thanks to everyone who came out and gave blood for Tia Carr on Dec. 21. Your donation of time and life saving supplies means more to us than words can tell. We collected 100 units of blood. Thank you for showing your support and we hope to see you next time in April.

We would also like to thank the American Red Cross for their diligent efforts. Our thanks is also extended to Oswego High School; Jimmy Johns; Culvers; Giordano’s; Subway; Meijer; Jewel-Osco; The Village Grind; My Sister Lil Donut Shoppe; TGI Fridays; local newspapers; Prayer Warriors; and the many friends and family that helped out every step of the way. It means so much to Tia that so many people care about helping her — lightening her load. It really lifts her spirit. As a mother, I am truly grateful to all of you.

Lauri Carr

Oswego



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