Friday, April 04, 2008

Good Works

True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.
- The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

There are plenty of examples of great things going on in the Grand Junction community. Here are some examples of some things you may not know about that really help to enhance the collective life of our area. They help to give Grand Junction and Mesa County a soul.

It was very nice to see Bill Robinson on the front page of last Sunday's paper. I first met Bill at church. He was at first glance a rather unassuming, jovial person. I didn't know what he had accomplished with the Theatre Department at Mesa State until later on. I really enjoy the varied offerings of the department every year, even if I don't make it there very often. Quite the legacy.

Another person I met at church has also graced the media lately. John Mok-Lamme is the pastor of Sojourners Christian Fellowship. Their program to refurbish mobile homes, and rent them to individuals and families in need of inexpensive transitional housing, is an outstanding example of a vital community in action. John also wrote an excellent letter to the Sentinel last week about the presence of homeless people in Whitman Park.

John and his sons were featured on the TV news as well. I saw John today at KAFM (we both volunteer there), and congratulated him on the project. John's wife Christine is also active in an important non-profit, as Director of Child and Migrant Services in Palisade.

The good work being done by the religious communities of the Grand Valley will come together in a couple of weeks, when ShareFest happens the weekend of April 19 and 20. A total of 19 churches in the Grand Valley will cancel their services in favor of participating in a weekend-long effort to provide people in need of services with someone able to help.

A tremendous undertaking, and well worth our appreciation and support.

A recent Free Press column brought attention to the Loma Cat House. The home for feral cats is in need of volunteers and donations to help their efforts to make an impact in the feral cat population. My son Evan, who has inherited his late mother's love for cats and is always in the adoption area whenever we go to PetSmart, wants to visit there. I think I'll take him sometime.

Finally, today and tomorrow mark the last two days of the KAFM Spring Fund Drive. KAFM does great work by providing the community access to unique local programming that showcases some of the incredible talent, musical and otherwise, that is present in the Grand Junction area. The station's Radio Room venue offers some of the country's finest musicians, as well as live theatre and community presentations. KAFM is a vital, homegrown community resource that is well deserving of your support.

Today cannot go by without mentioning the 40th anniversary of a tragic moment in our nation's history.

I remember sitting in front of the TV with my brother when the bulletin flashed across the screen in stark black and white. Being 8 years old I did not have the fullest understanding of the issues at hand, but knew that something was going on and it was very important to lots of people.

We have made some great strides in this country since King's death, but recent events are helping to show how much more of a road we have yet to travel. We need to do so without fear and while recognizing that regardless of the material trappings or emotional walls that many of us surround ourselves with, that we are truly not alone, and to continue to thrive as a nation in an increasingly diverse and connected world we need to get past the esoteric and work together toward promoting peace and developing stability for all.

With that in mind it's time to get ready for the day. I'm answering phones at KAFM this morning. Keep these and the other local non-profit organizations in your thoughts when you have a little extra time or money.

Enjoy your day!

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