Regarding Thor Bradshaw's "Won't donate" comments (Fast Focus, Aug. 4) about how he does not donate to charities, I'd like to address some points.
First, Mr. Bradshaw disdains Columbia Industries' practice of charging a price for donated articles such as clothing and household goods. What he fails to realize is that the money raised from the sale of donated articles goes towards funding services that support the disabled. They provide, among other things, the opportunity for some of our disabled fellow citizens to experience the dignity of work and enjoy a heightened sense of self-worth where they are employed on the sales floor and in the warehouse of the Columbia Industries' retail shop.
As for his comments about the Red Cross, I'm going to assume he never served active duty in the military because it's the Red Cross that buys airline tickets for our soldiers and sailors to fly home to be with a dying family member or to attend the funeral. I'm also going to assume he's never lived through a hurricane. I have. Several of them. It's the Red Cross that's first to arrive on the scene with blankets and fresh water to help victims.
And the United Servicemen's Overseas (USO), fully funded by donations, provided a fantastic on-base library at the Naval Air Station in Rota, Spain. (I was stationed there for five years.) This library was so well-stocked and staffed that it supported a strong student population of sailors pursuing Associate degrees on their off-hours at the on-base satellite university, never mind all the wonderful leisure reading made available to everyone else. The USO also staffs lounges in international airports where a fresh cup of coffee and a cot are available to service members and their families waiting for a flight. Often these waits are overnight.
And he's probably never suffered from hemophilia, either. The National Hemophilia Foundation purchased the crutches and leg braces for my cousin who suffered from hemophilia to have some semblance of a normal childhood since his welder father and diner waitress mother could not afford these things.
It's a good thing he was born healthy, because Saint Jude's Hospital saves the lives of countless children whose parents otherwise could not afford the staggeringly expensive medical care to address their life-threatening illnesses.
See a trend here? All these organizations are funded by the contributions of good, decent people who are capable of seeing beyond the coziness and safety of their own environment. Mr. Bradshaw, however, is not. Shame on him.
-- ANN M. CHIRINKO-REEVES, Kennewick