Disturbed by lack of interest in helping poor

August 16, 2004

Dear Editor:

A few weeks ago, I went before the Danville City Commission with a request for help. I explained to them that we were in need of a building. We have outgrown the small space allotted to us in which we house our food, clothes, and other donations. I received a letter from the city manager stating they could not help. I and the other members of Community Friends Outreach were very disturbed by their lack of interest in this need in our community.

Recently, I asked if we could have the use of the Hub building or the old Save-A- Lot building in order to give away some clothes. We felt since it was so close to the opening of school, people would need the help with clothes for their kids. But once again their response was the same, they said they had long-term and short-term plans for both buildings. We only needed it for a few days. We ended up giving the clothes away at the church but it was very difficult because we have such limited space.


I wish the city manager and some of the commissioners could have been there when a mother and her four children came in. It seems she had just come from an abuse shelter. One of the schools here in Danville had helped in getting them an apartment. CFO gave them food, clothes, some small appliances, dishes, a TV, and a chair. When we delivered the chair to them, it was the only piece of furniture in the apartment. They weren't worried about not having furniture. They were just happy to have a roof over their heads. The next day, they were able to get a love seat and chair from the Salvation Army, which sends a lot of people to us for help. I took them some tables, and they were thrilled to have a coffee table, which they were going to use to eat on. They are still sleeping on the floor, but they said that was OK because they had blankets.

It is really sad to see this happening to people here in our community and to have our community leaders turn their faces away. I ask you, Is a park more important than people? The mayor, city commission and city manger will spend some quarter of a million dollars on a park but can't spare a building to help people, who are voters I might add.

It seems there is one person on the commission who has a heart for those in need, and I am thankful for that. Chester Kavanaugh has been down to see us and is trying to help us help others. I wish there were more like him in leadership. He knows some things have priority. Thank you, Mr. Kavanaugh.

I guess I don't need to say this but I will: Anything people get from CFO is free. We do not charge for anything we give away, even items we buy personally from the God's Pantry in Lexington. The band boosters at one of the schools in Danville have given us money on two separate occasions and again we say thank-you for that. The schools have had food drives for us when ever we need them and once a year the postal workers have the large food drive for us. At Thanksgiving, our church donates 20 turkeys and the trimmings. A man from Stanford donated a new freezer and had it delivered to us.

So if all of these people care enough to help us, we wonder why our city leaders can't. Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.

Jereline Bailey

Vice president

Community Friends Outreach


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