While I read Robert Burns' poem about "Man's inhumanity to man" whenI was a high school student, I always had found Carroll countians compassionate, especially when tragedy struck.
An accident left people dead, Carroll countians would help. A resident was left with big medical bills from a severe illness, people pitched in money.
Even when the tragedy wasn't local, countians would help. They helped when Hurricane Hugo struck Puerto Rico and St. Croix, when the earthquake devastated California and when floods swamped the Carolinas.
Carroll's rural and religious roots made countians' compassion shine through. I've always felt this was one of the greatest assets the county has -- and one of which residents can be proud.
Lately, however, I've been hearing some people question the propriety of helping non-countians -- such as the 17 children who lost relatives in a Hamlet, N.C., plant fire -- when we have many of "our own" in need.
For these people, it's as if our compassion shouldn't reach out beyond our borders.
Yes, we have less fortunate residents who need thehelp of the more fortunate. Carroll has many programs to accomplish that, such as Neighbors in Need and Bags O' Plenty.
What those whoare sponsoring the Hands for Hamlet project -- the City of Westminster, Carroll County Sun, Chamber of Commerce, Prestige Cable, Cranberry Mall and East and West middles -- are saying is that many of us canafford to come up with additional money to contribute to this worthycause.
Why? Because we're a compassionate people and our hearts cry out for those youngsters whose lives were devastated when they lost parents in the Sept. 3 fire at Imperial Food Products, which killed25 and injured 56.
The project is collecting money, clothes, toysand other items, which will be delivered to the youngsters in time for Christmas.
Antonio is 5; he lost his mother. Nakisha and Martinare 13 and 12; they lost their mother. Scott and Michael are 13 and 16; they lost their father. Crystal is 15; she lost her father. Claude
is 13; he lost his grandmother, who was his legal guardian. Quinnard is 11; he lost his aunt, who was his legal guardian. Elaine and Thurman are 8 and 13; they lost their mother. James, Thomas and Teresa are 15, 17 and 18; they lost their mother. Tracy (age unavailable) lost her mother. Angela is 18; she lost her mother. Amy is 11; she lost her father. (The other child has moved away.)
Any amount you could give would help brighten these youngsters' holidays. Checks should be payable to Hands for Hamlet, c/o City Hall, Westminster MD 21157; toys and clothes can be dropped off at the Carroll County Sun, 15 E. Main St., Westminster.