Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 24, 2013

Community shows generosity through United Way support
Each workday, I awaken and realize how blessed I am to have grown up, live and been educated in Salisbury and Rowan County. As I reflect on the past year, it’s with tremendous respect and appreciation that I want to say thank you to all of our citizens who helped make this year’s United Way campaign a success.
Serving as a United Way volunteer has helped me find greater peace and contentment as I seek to fulfill God’s will in my life. During the holiday season, part of my responsibilities included requesting donations and support for our consumers’ Christmas gifts at Rowan Vocational Opportunities. Many of them might not have received anything from other sources.
The outpouring of support — from donations to volunteer time to gifts-in-kind — exemplified this community’s extraordinary generosity, much the scripture of St. Luke, 42-48: “To whom much is given, much is required.” That’s why I’m so committed to this great “community of kindness.”
Rowan Vocational Opportunities, Inc., was founded in 1966 to provide individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities the opportunity to participate in gainful employment while enhancing their life skills and social interaction. Many of our consumers would be unemployed and some, perhaps, institutionalized if the agency didn’t exist.
Representing one of Rowan’s 16 United Way agencies, I’ve been able to experience the collaborative efforts of our agencies working together to build a stronger community. There are many charities and worthy causes needing assistance; however, few help fund and support such an array of services for such a diverse and multicultural population.
So whether it’s family, friends or neighbors, this time it may be the other person who needs help; next time, it might be you or I. That’s why, with humility and appreciation, I say thank you to the United Way staff, volunteers and wonderful contributors for making the 2012 campaign such a success. I am a living testimony of what “living united” really means.

— Wilson Cherry
Wilson Cherry is the special projects coordinator and qualified professional with Rowan Vocational Opportunities, Inc.

Intentional economic collapse?
Not long ago, Chrysler ran a TV ad saying that if you want to build something new, you must tear down the old.
When then-Sen. Barack Obama was running for president, he said he wanted to fundamentally change America.
Today many experts agree that if we continue this out-of-control deficit spending, we will bankrupt the United States, collapsing the dollar and the economy. Is all of this intentional?
I’ve always had a funny little feeling that our president doesn’t particularly like the United States all that much. He’s anti-business, and I am not sure he even likes capitalism. He is a big-government guy.
Yet is collapsing something the best way to bring about fundamental change? If he gets what he wants, does he know what he gets after he does what he wants? This could be a severe case of the “be careful what you wish for” syndrome.
Whatever you think, we’re going in the wrong direction. Someone needs to sound the alarm about what’s happening, what it means and what can be done. We need to slam on the brakes regarding the Chrysler approach.
— Allan Gilmour