Judy Frank: No Good Deed Goes Uncriticized

Monday, May 2, 2011

You probably heard it about the same time I did.

All those church groups and volunteers trying to help tornado victims have been going about it the wrong way, according to officials in Bradley County .

So much food has been donated that a lot of it is has to be thrown away, they said.

Well gee, that will sure encourage people to get out and help the next time they see somebody hungry, or homeless, or in need of some TLC, won’t it?

But hold on, there’s more.

Social service agencies don’t need any donations except – of course – money, officials went on to say.

Since when?

At Salvation Army headquarters on Inman Street in Cleveland last week, where one heck of a lot of good was being done, that’s not what people were told.

“Bread . . . water . . . food that doesn’t have to be cooked or refrigerated . . . cleaning supplies,” were the stock answers when somebody showed up asking what was needed.

“This goes out as fast as we get it in,” one grateful worker told a man who showed up with a truck holding two pallets of bottled water.

“As soon as we get this unloaded, I’ll go back and get another truckful,” the man replied.

That wasn’t needed?

How many times have we heard public officials lament what they perceive as average citizens’ unwillingness to tackle major issues in their communities instead of asking somebody else – the government, for example – to solve the problems?

Worried about crime on your street, for example? Well, the official response goes, “Start a neighborhood watch. Police can’t be everywhere. They need your help.”

Bothered by the dozens of smelly trucks tearing up the road in front of your house on their way to the ever-expanding landfill encroaching on your neighborhood? Hey, it’s your fault, you put your cans and paper and plastics out in garbage cans instead of hauling them 10 miles or 20 miles or however far it is to the nearest recycling center.

Last week, a lot of people in the Tennessee Valley showed just the kind of initiative officials have been telling them is needed.

Unlike the gawkers who descended on devastated neighborhoods, getting in the way of emergency crews trying to locate and then help the injured, these good Samaritans concentrated on getting food and water and comfort to people they knew needed them.

And now they’re being told they did it all wrong?

Remember 9-11, when the Red Cross broadcast urgent messages pleading for blood donations and people across the nation rushed to respond – only to learn, a month or so later, that all that blood really hadn’t been needed and was just thrown away?

I know people who were so incensed they haven’t given a dime to the Red Cross since that happened.

So yes, Bradley County, coordinate your efforts. Make efficient use of every available resource. Put volunteers where they are most needed.

But before you tell people who went out into devastated neighborhoods and fed hungry men and women and children not to do it again without checking with you first, ask the people who ate that food whether they think that’s good advice.

You could start with the woman one group of volunteers presented with the first food she and her family had seen since heaven knows when – and then apologized because they had run out of plastic silverware by the time they got to her.

“Honey, don’t you apologize,” the woman replied. “I’m so hungry . . . I’ll use my hands.”

Judy Frank

Still Accidents In Collegedale

It's been a week since the speed limit was dropped to 45 mph and people are still going too fast and not following the speed limit.  This is what happens.  Jessica Russell (click for more)

Greg Martin Is Invested In Hixson District 3

In January of 2015 I was elected a delegate for District 3. I choose to invest in the community in which I live by getting involved. Once you get involved you see, hear and understand what is important to your fellow citizens. If one is interested enough in running for office in District 3, isn't it logical to participate in your community affairs first and foremost? This is why ... (click for more)

Top 12 Most Wanted Fugitive Corey Ripple Apprehended Wednesday Night

Robert Corey Ripple was apprehended on Wednesday evening by Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and a Deputy U.S. Marshal. The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office was advised by the United States Marshall’s Office at approximately 10:30 p.m. Wednesday that Ripple was seen turning in to an address on Dolly Pond Road. The agencies immediately formed an arrest team and went ... (click for more)

Harry Cooper, 54, Is Bicyclist Hit By Dalton Police Officer Thursday Morning

Dalton Police officer Allexis Rittenhouse  hit  Earnest Harry Cooper, 54, of 216 North Easterling Street in Dalton, who was riding a bicycle in the intersection of Thornton Avenue and Cuyler Street early Thursday morning. The Georgia State Patrol is investigating the crash. The incident happened at 12:47 a.m . Officer Rittenhouse was traveling northbound ... (click for more)

Briarcrest Beats Baylor In D-II Volleyball

MURFREESBORO – It was the volleyball match everyone in Division II has been waiting for all season. Baylor and Briarcrest faced off in the winners bracket final of the TSSAA state tournament here at Blackman High School Thursday afternoon and the Lady Saints prevailed by a 3-1 margin, winning by scores of 25-23, 21-25, 25-23 and 25-13. The Lady Saints are now 45-3 and wait ... (click for more)

Farragut Overwhelms Cleveland 3-0 In Elimination Match

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Thursday’s elimination match between Cleveland and powerful Farragut began and crumbled in the first few points. Cleveland got an early 3-0 lead. Farragut went on a 23-3 run and demolished the Lady Blue Raiders 3-0 in a lopsided that sent Cleveland home knowing how far it still has to go to compete with the elite Class 3A volleyball teams in the state. ... (click for more)