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Letters, week of Dec. 10

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A novel proposal for charities

Sir: Most Canadians have likely engaged with a charity or nonprofit at a point in their lives, and many engage with them daily.

The sector includes small community service organizations as well as large hospitals and universities. The latest available statistics indicate there are over 170,000 charitable and nonprofit organizations in Canada, and 85,000 of these are registered charities.

The sector contributes an average of 8.1% of total Canadian GDP, more than retail and close to the value of the mining, oil and gas industries. Two million Canadians are employed in this charitable sector, and it has more than 13 million volunteers.

Save the Children Canada supports children in 120 countries, yet we have families in Sarnia-Lambton who require food and clothing on a regular basis.

I am “charitied” out. I’ve given until I am spent. And I wonder how many other people are at home shouting, “ENOUGH.”

Charities have an important role to play. The Salvation Army, The Royal Canadian Legion and Cancer research get my vote. But I have had enough of the “chuggers” in my town. (Look it up)!

It’s not just that there are so many causes. It’s the way they compete for my cash and food contributions that drives me to distraction.

Even cancer, which has affected our family, has more than 250 charities in Canada all competing for a share of voice (theirs) and wallet (ours).

A lot of these charities are paying astronomical amounts to a CEO, leadership teams, endless fundraisers and marketers. They justify these high salaries with: “We need the best for such a complex organization, it costs top dollar.”

Please stop badgering me in the street, the malls, and at my door, and with endless TV clips of suffering children to make me feel bad.

Let’s end the duplication and create The Charity. Assign one accountable, transparent management team. Let different causes pitch for their share, and channel funds to those most in need, starting with those closest to home.

Simplistic, maybe, but if there was only The Charity I’d set up my direct debit tomorrow.

Peter Clarke



Kudos to The Journal

Sir: After spending the U.S. Thanksgiving with my wife’s remaining family in Michigan we stopped off at Tim Hortons on London Road for a coffee.

There we saw and took a copy of your Journal.

We would like to congratulate you on a very positive paper, a treat compared to the doom and gloom and sabre rattling of late. We found it to be unusual in its lack of negativity. To quote the editorial: there is “some hope that if we are going to hell in a handbasket perhaps the rate is slowing.”

You found good stories with positive impacts. We enjoyed the push to educate people with the story “Face Veils.” It’s important to understand that people are people. Some are good, some not so good, and Muslims are not all bad and do not have a monopoly on having bad people. Every race, culture etc. has a few.

If we were more in tune with the social media of today we would see how many would join us in pledging to come to the aid of any Muslim having difficulty with ignorant and bullying people. If enough publicly pledged, maybe the ignorant and bullying people would think again.

You had other educating articles that I am sure many can use, and your intention to publish letters to Santa is just great.

We were also impressed with the invitation to Guest Columnists, the positive attitudes expressed by letter writers Peter Banks and Vernon Chiles, and your “Little of this and that” column with four interesting items.

All in all, a great job.  Well done.

Malcolm and Marj Little



OPP explain a “Situation Table”

Sir: I would like to respond to the Oct. 26 story, “Putting an end to elder abuse,” which mentions the use of a Situation Table to assist seniors.

A Situation Table is a multi-disciplinary team of front line human services professionals who meet on a weekly basis in order to bring forward local “situations” of concern involving members of our local community. Although this may include seniors it by no means is structured to respond solely towards that community group. Situation Tables focus upon all groups within our community.

Once a specific need has been identified, the group meets in order to mount a rapid response that is customized towards the specific needs of the individual in question.

The purpose of the intervention is to mitigate the risks factors leading to imminent threats of harm or victimization to individuals, families, groups or places. The meeting of the situation table allows for an immediate multi-agency intervention in cases where a person or persons are deemed to be within a state of acutely elevated risk.

The table members conduct a generic and anonymous review of the situation that has been brought forth and then engages in conversation to achieve consensus on situations of acute risk that demands attention from multiple agencies and mandates.

Once a consensus of acutely elevated risk has been determined the specific agencies required to assist in addressing the concern(s) are then engaged to ensure the proper services and resources are brought forth.

Case management remains with the respective disciplines involved in developing and executing the appropriate actions that are designed to mitigate the risk factors that have been identified. As intervention takes place ongoing reassessment of resources and needs continues until the problem(s) have been resolved.

Participation within the program is based solely upon the consent of the person who is deemed to be at elevated risk.

Sgt. Ross Stuart

Lambton OPP



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