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    Letters to the Editors

    Thanks to all who helped on Day of Good Deeds

    © St. Petersburg Times
    published November 27, 2002

    Re: Many offer good deeds for those in need, Nov. 1.

    I am in my 90th year; I live alone; and my health is only fair. I find myself suddenly faced with a problem which, to me, seems as big as a mountain. I'm having to move from the apartment where I have lived for 25 years to a smaller one.

    This makes it necessary to discard most of the sentimental treasures I have collected over the years, and the emotional stress hasn't been easy to cope with. The hardest part of this problem, though, is packing up everything for the move, especially since I use a cane when walking.

    A few days after this problem arose, I saw in the St. Petersburg Times the article about the Day of Good Deeds -- which the cities of Dunedin and Largo were organizing. I called Jan Sebald, the project coordinator in Dunedin, and she was so nice. She came by within an hour of my call to see what I needed. Later she brought boxes for packing; and on Nov. 9 she sent one of the volunteers, Susan Marshall, who had so kindly responded to her call.

    Susan came early and went right to work, packing up things for me. About 30 minutes later, Jackie Schlueter and her two young sons, Allan and Nick, also came to help. In about three hours, the four of them had packed what would have taken me several days to do alone.

    The Day of Good Deeds was a wonderful idea indeed, but it also was the kindness and willingness to help those with a need and the love for other people shown by these volunteers that made it such a blessing for those of us who received help.

    As for my "mountain" problem, it's now just a molehill. I certainly do appreciate the help given me, and I feel sure that God will bless each and every one of you who had a part in this program.
    -- Ruth L. Wright, Dunedin

    In praise of Countryside band director

    I want to thank Mr. Sam Hayward, band director at Countryside High School, for 47 years of devotion to his students and music.

    After meeting him and listening to students he is teaching and has taught -- among them our son and grandson -- I can only say, "What a God-given talent this man has." Rather than using that talent to make money, he chooses to teach our future generations. Mr. Hayward will never be forgotten. He will always be remembered when we hear a young person playing outstanding music.
    -- Mrs. Lucie Somers, Safety Harbor

    SPCA deserves our gratitude, support

    Our community is fortunate to have the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to serve the pets and people of Pinellas County.

    The sign that marks the entrance at 9099 130th Ave. N in Largo reads SPCA but fails to inform passersby of the many achievements made by this extraordinary animal shelter.

    Under the excellent direction of Beth Lockwood and the SPCA's board of directors, advancements are occurring in:

    -- The health and comfort of shelter animals.

    -- Emphasizing the need to build a more compassionate community for all.

    -- Partnerships with law enforcement and social service agencies aimed at cross-training and intervening in suspected animal cruelty and domestic violence cases.

    But the animals are the ones that will tug at your heartstrings.

    As they await adoption, without time limits, the dogs and cats in the SPCA's care are treated to large doses of love and kindness. Some have never experienced this. Most have been someone's beloved pet before unfortunate circumstances broke the bond. Others were unwanted from birth, the sad result of their owners' failure to spay or neuter. More than 40,000 such animals come into shelters in Pinellas County every year. The SPCA of Pinellas County admits between 14,000 and 17,000 of these. Yes, the heart of the SPCA beats strongly in our community.

    Many come to volunteer. Most supporters give both time and treasure. I choose to support the SPCA through its Heritage Society, earmarking financial support to come after my death.

    In difficult or good economic times the shelter, and other nonprofits, must count on members and public support to ensure that the organization's mission can continue. The SPCA of Pinellas County is one animal shelter that truly merits support.
    -- Evelyn Burton, South Pasadena

    Attacks spurred appreciation of veterans

    I read your paper of Nov. 12. It was refreshing to see so many articles about veterans. In the past on Veterans Day, you may have carried two or three articles about vets.

    Unfortunately, it seems that it took 9/11 to bring this about.

    But one thing the terrorists didn't count on is that it brought a wave of patriotism and respect for our veterans. It is unquestionably long overdue. I want to thank your paper for helping.

    Osama bin Laden didn't have this in mind when he attacked us on 9/11. He meant to destroy us and our will. Instead, he brought us together as a nation once again.
    -- Jim Donley, Pinellas Park

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