Readers' voice

Letter to the Editor:
    April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month! This month and throughout the year, Van Buren County Council for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, Inc. (CAN Council) encourages all individuals and organizations to help make Van Buren County a healthier and safer place for children and families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help prevent child abuse and neglect by strengthening families and communities.
    Please join us on April 30, 2019, for a free viewing of the documentary “Resilience: The Biology of Stress & the Science of Hope.”  This one hour film is about toxic stress, its affect on physical and psychological health, and how to help reduce and offset the impact of these effects.  There will be time for a brief community discussion after the movie.
    There will be two viewings on April 30 (repeat showings), the first at 9 a.m.; the second at 6  p.m.  The movie will be shown at the Van Buren Intermediate School District Conference Center, 490 S. Paw Paw Street, Lawrence, Michigan 49064.
    Pre-registration is not necessary. If you have any questions, please contact Becky Fatzinger, CAN Council Coordinator, at (269) 427-6810.
    Research shows that five important factors are present in healthy families. Promoting these factors is among the most effective ways to reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect.
    They are:
    • Nurturing and attachment: building a close bond helps parents better understand, respond to, and communicate with their children;
    • Knowledge of parenting and of child development: parents learn what to look for at each age and how to help their children reach their full potential;
    • Parental resilience: recognizing the signs of stress and enhancing problem-solving skills can help parents build their capacity to cope;
    • Social connections: parents with an extensive network of family, friends and neighbors have better support in times of need;
    • Concrete supports for parents: caregivers need adequate financial, housing and other concrete supports and services to help them meet their basic needs.
    There are many ways for people to get involved in strengthening families and helping children: volunteer at your local school; offer to help an overwhelmed neighbor; attend a local Play and Learn Group; learn about available community re-sources; support family friendly legislation; join the CAN Council, Great Start Parent Coalition or other family support initiatives in the county.
    There are many community programs to help families who may be struggling, but often people aren’t sure where to turn - for more information about community resources or for information about joining the effort to prevent child abuse and neglect, please call or e-mail me.
    Becky Fatzinger
    CAN Council Coordinator
    (269) 427-6810 bfatzinger@vbcmh.com

•••

Dear Editor,
    The Lakeview Foundation is honored to be supported by our volunteer staff.   To quote Erma Bombeck,  “Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.”
    Last year, 15 new people joined our team of 85 outstanding volunteers at our two locations, the Com-munity Thrift Shop and Holiday Store & Home Décor.   Collectively, our volunteers gave over 18,000 hours of their precious time to work at our two stores.  
    What a difference our team makes generating income to support the Lake-view Foundation Scholar-ship program, which gifted $180,000 to 78 students from Van Buren County.  
    On a daily basis, our staff reaches out with a personal touch as they give their opinion on clothing being tried, putting together wall grouping décor, helping a young man with tying his tie for a school dance, and even helping a family pick out burial clothing for a deceased family member.
    What we see in our volunteers is genuine caring, sharing, giving, empathy and sympathy, which they give to each other and to our customers.  They create a “spirit” or “atmosphere” of love for others. This is something one does not make or fake, it is genuine.  
    Here are the Lakeview Foundation Volunteers whom have the biggest hearts around:
    Jim Alden, Connie Ash-craft, Michele Babin, Penny Baker, Pam Bielang, Sue Briggs, Sally Brinkman, Greg Butler, Jim Charles, Kerry Cochran, Sue Conklin, Marge Cornish, Pat Conolly, David Corstange, Jon Craw-ford, Peggy Crawford, Caro-lyn Curtis, Bonnie Davidson, Dayton Davis, Dorothy Dietz, Marilyn Doyle, Ginny Dro-gula, Carole Erickson, Alan Fader, Yvonne Ferrara, Pam Gehl, Pat Garrod, Diane Grimm, Lourdes Guevara, Linda Heidenreich, Kathy Hobbs, Lucy Hood, Morene Huggett, Marie King, Sue Knudstrup, Ivy Koziel,  Mar-lene Lake, Mike Lake, Celine Lanting, Brittney Lee, Peggy Magnuson, Sue Martin, Nan-cy McCorry, Pat McKinney, MaryAnn Menck, MaryAnn Miller, Bev Mroczek, Jill Muir, Sue Mullard, Curt Newhouse, Deb Newhouse, Jackie Noble, Jan Ogden, Chris Pomeroy, Wayne Pot-ter, Marcia Potter, Sally Quan, Deborah Richmond, Beth Robbins, Joanne Ross-man, Barb Sampsell, Gary Sampsell, Rich Schiele, MaryLou Scott, Bruce Shan-non, Cheryl Shaw, Keith Shaw, Debbra Slater, Carol Sjoquist, Pat Small, Laura Smith, Marie Smith, Patti Smith, Patti Smits, Darlene Spalo, Audrey Spencer, Shirley Stewart, Marian Stowers, Patti Strefling, Carol Tedrow, Nancy Terry, Margie Waite, Adam Walter, Carol White, Marcia Wil-liams, Janice Wilson, Mary-Lou Wright and Eleda Zygadlo.
    In closing, we must share, it is a true honor to work beside each and every volunteer.  Thank you, volunteers, for making the Community Thrift Shop and Holiday Store & Home Decor successful, and for touching many lives in a positive way.  
    Respectfully yours,
    The Community Thrift Shop Management Team
    Mary Bentley, Wendy Charles, Leanne Fader, Sue Harris, Chris Schur, and Sheree Vandenberg

•••

To  the Editor:
    On behalf of the Eastern Van Buren County CROP (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty) Hunger Walk Committee and myself, we would like to thank Jean Watson for her benefit concert, April 7.
    We would also like to thank  New Hope Fellowship Church in Paw Paw for providing the venue.
    The donations from the free-will offering will go toward this year’s CROP Hunger Walk fund.  The walk is scheduled for April 28, at 2 p.m. at the Paw Paw United Methodist Church.
    A quarter of all funds raised from the walk will return to Van Buren County to  assist several  area food pantries.
    Again, thank you Jean Watson for your wonderful music and New Hope Fellowship Church for the setting.
    Mary Lou Hartwell
    Eastern Van Buren County
     CROP Walk Chairperson

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The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes

The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes
32280 E. Red Arrow Hwy. • P.O. Box 129
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-5080

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