Email letters, April 24, 2013

Recent events demonstrate importance of volunteering

Over the past week, you may have become familiar with a quote that has resurfaced from the Mister Rogers Parenting Book: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

During this week, which is National Volunteer Week, I can’t think of a better quote to capture the hope, help and inspiration that volunteers provide during the toughest moments in our lives.

The American Red Cross relies on the hard work of tens of thousands of volunteers across the U.S., including about 2,000 here in Colorado. During our responses to the Boston bombing, the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, and flooding throughout the Midwest this week, it has been volunteers who have provided comfort, aid, health services and hugs.

And even as those volunteers are working long days responding, dozens of other volunteers are giving their time right here in local communities to help people prepare for and prevent future disasters and emergencies — they’re teaching CPR and First Aid, training groups and businesses in preparedness and readying themselves to respond to the next disaster, whether it be a single-family house fire, a flood or a wildfire.

We would like to thank every person who volunteers or has volunteered for the Red Cross. If you see a volunteer this week, thank him or her. And if you are a volunteer yourself, THANK YOU.

Executive Director

Western Colorado Chapter
American Red Cross
Grand Junction

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive a simple way to aid food banks

Saturday, May 11 marks the 21st anniversary of one of America’s great days of giving — the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.

Each year on the second Saturday in May, letter carriers across the country collect from our customers non-perishable food donations. These donations go directly to our local food pantries to provide food to people in need, and there are so many in Mesa County who need our help. Those local food agencies include Agape Food Basket in Fruita, Child and Migrant Services in Palisade, Clifton Christian Church (CCC) Food Program, the Community Food Bank, Outreach Soup Kitchen, the Rescue Mission and Salvation Army.

Last year, more than 70 million pounds of food were collected in America, feeding an estimated 30 million people. Over the course of its 20-year history, the drive has collected more than a billion pounds of food. In Mesa County, 102 thousand pounds of food were delivered by letter carriers to local food banks last year.

The need for food donations is great. Currently, 50 million Americans – one in six – are unsure where their next meal is coming from. Children in these households feel hunger’s impact on their overall health and ability to perform in school. Nearly 3 million seniors over age 65 must deal with hunger as well, with many who live on fixed incomes often too embarrassed to ask for help.

Our food drive’s timing is pivotal, as well. Local food banks often receive the majority of their donations during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons. By springtime, many pantries are depleted, entering the summer low on supplies at a time when many school breakfast and lunch programs are not available.

Participating in this year’s Letter Carrier National Food Drive is simple. Just leave a non-perishable food donation in a bag by your mailbox on Saturday, May 11, and your letter carrier will pick it up. I invite you to join in America’s great day of giving and help Stamp Out Hunger.

LINDA GAINES                                          
Grand Junction

Pharmacy personnel must take time to properly fill prescriptions

Following is important information about community pharmacies every Mesa County citizen should know:

1. ALL pharmacists have 6+ years of college and a diploma, and pharmacy techs are nationally certified, with continuing educations college credits, and have to re-certify every two years.

2. All pharmacies have to practice, follow, know, and remember F.D.A., D.E.A., state, company; laws, procedures policies, and regulations.

3. Accuracy takes time. Pharmacies have many “checks and balances” in place for your health. They check for overdosing, allergies and drug interactions, which all can be fatal. Medication is double counted and double-checked by a licensed pharmacist.

4. The pharmacy is required to fill accurate prescriptions; billing insurance is only a courtesy service. Repeat: Billing insurance is only a courtesy service.

5. There will be a line in which to wait. Just like there is a line at the post office, D.M.V., movie theaters, banks, Disney World, restaurants, check-out lanes, etc.

6. Safe/accurate pickup means: Not only is it dangerous for your health, it is rude.

7. Pharmacists and pharmacy techs are health care professionals. You are not the only patient who gets medications.

Be responsible for your health. Please do not yell at pharmacy staff members about issues you have no idea about.

Thank you for consideration of this important matter.

Grand Junction


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