Letter: United Way presentation a call to action

November 7, 2013 

Letter: United Way presentation a call to action

I write to express my profound thanks to the United Way of Benton and Franklin Counties for an excellent morning of stimulating speakers Tuesday who shared observations and recommendations for the betterment of our greater Tri-Cities.

We heard how important pre-kindergarten preparation and regular class attendance is for school success. We were reminded that daily reading with children all year long may make the difference between educational progress and regress. We learned how obesity is literally and figuratively weighing us down (full disclosure: by definition, I am at least "overweight"). We were reminded how equal and appropriate access to the right kinds of health care (not too much; not too little) improves outcomes and saves money.

We affirmed how community safety really takes the whole village -- alert and caring neighbors, strong police force, kids in school and regular activities, congregations of faith and service and honest mortgages that don't overstretch budgets. And we remembered that self-sufficiency is not a product of rugged individualism but e plurbis unum: our common civic enterprise that benefits the disenfranchised (have nots) and the enfranchised (haves) alike. United Way -- still a great descriptor! -- you gave us a bunch of good and useful news, and a clear call to action.

TIMOTHY J. LEDBETTER, Richland

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