Mollie Ruf: Stand up for Salisbury and get involved

Published 11:27 pm Wednesday, August 2, 2017

By Mollie Ruf

Special to the Salisbury Post

Back in the spring I was invited to attend a training session hosted by Salisbury-Rowan Schools for a mentor program coming this school year. The turnout for that training session was sadly and surprisingly very low when compared to everyone the invite was sent to.

With all the recent events in Salisbury, I’d like to challenge everyone who lives in Salisbury and cares about the community they live in to reach out to the school system and/or other existing community nonprofits and ask how you can get involved.

After the recent shootings over the weekend, I followed up with the school system and they said they’d be sending out an update soon with information about the mentor program before the school year starts.

Mentoring programs can make a big difference in an at-risk child’s life. I hope that we can stop talking “at” each other and complaining about the crime and rather each of us take some time out of our busy lives and donate the best of ourselves.

Volunteering your time to mentor a local youth won’t be a cure for everything wrong in our community (obviously) but if enough of us get involved it could make a huge impact and hopefully cause a positive ripple effect on many lives.

The police and city officials can’t make all the changes alone, although I acknowledge there are things that definitely need improving from within. Yes, Salisbury Police Department is understaffed. Yes, the city is losing money with Fibrant. Yes, we have a gang problem. Yes, all these things and probably more over the years have led to our current situation, but Salisbury is not a lost cause and the current crime situation does not have to define our town.

There are a lot of great things to see and do in Salisbury, but more importantly we are a city full of people. People that are talented, caring, giving and so many more wonderful characteristics. Isn’t that the most important part about a place, the people? We all have something to offer that can be helpful in improving our community and we all matter. It takes a village. As cliché as that sounds, it’s so true, so let’s get to work!

I’m sure this letter, if it makes it through the pile, will get a lot of trolls posting negative comments, and it’s OK for them to have an opinion. Heck, they’re probably even right and justified at times. But I’d like encourage everyone to look deeper and really think about how you can do to help because our city needs all of us. If you can’t do the mentor program, try reaching out to Rowan County United Way or Communities in Schools. They will be able to point you in the right direction on how you can get involved.

I have 240 “friends” on Facebook who list Salisbury as their current city. Wouldn’t it be great if even just 50 of those people took action after reading this? And I mean real action. Not just a like, share or comment (anyone can click a button) but actually making a phone call to find out more info or signing up to volunteer somewhere. I hope everyone will accept this challenge.

Mollie Ruf is a digital marketing specialist who lives in Salisbury.