Thanksgiving 2014

Nov 25 - mkamplain

Our County
D. Gary Davis
County Mayor

Thanksgiving. Even the word stirs up good emotions in most people. With the idea fast becoming what some might consider obsolete in their ever striving race to the top, I would like to take some time today to help us become more aware of others and also help our families remain safe during the beginning of the Holiday season.

Many people begin their travels to visit family, people and places of interest for their individual families. Might I offer some suggestions for making this time a time of safety as well as enjoyment:

• If traveling by airplane and having to leave your car in "long term parking” your vehicle registration, insurance cards and other identification tells thieves where you live and that you are not home as well. Please remove these items before you leave your car.
• Luggage tags are another place to never list your home address. Use your e-mail address and/or phone number.
• Electronic devices such as a GPS and garage door opener give thieves both your address and an easy way to gain access to your home without being noticed. Remove both if possible. If your GPS unit is mounted or a part of your automobile’s dashboard delete your home address from it or use an address that is close but not your actual home address so they cannot find out where you live.
• Social Media plays an important role in everyday life for a lot of us. But please don’t announce your vacation plans, take photos and place videos of your trip in "real time” as this gives those who may have bad intentions a time stamp of when you are not home to practice their craft of robbery. Wait until you return and then post all of the pictures you want to better ensure that your belongings stay your belongings.
• Stop delivery of newspapers or mail or have a trusted neighbor retrieve these for your family daily.
• Make sure all windows and doors are secure and NEVER hide a key outside. Thieves know all of the best places they are hidden.

A statistic that was listed in the Associated Press this past week was one that startled me and hopefully will you as well. "In America, The Number Of Homeless Children has Surged To An All Time High”. While this article went on to state that problem was particularly severe in California which has one – eighth of the U.S. population but accounts for more than one-fifth of the homeless children with a tally of nearly 527,000. Nationwide from 2012 to 2013 child homelessness increased by 8%. The National Center on Family Homelessness calculates that nearly 2.5 million American children were homeless at some time in 2013 and the Department of Education’s latest count of 1.3 million homeless children in public schools, which were then supplemented by estimates of homeless pre-school children not counted by the DOE.

Some have argued that even the poorest of poor in America still have it good compared with the poorest of the world. And there has been a "war on poverty” for over 50 years with seemingly very little change of those who can be classified as being in need. I would argue that while government programs are beneficial the real work has always been done by those who are "called” to make a difference for those around them each and every day. These include those who take the time to help a person or family who can and will never be able to repay them for their efforts. Those who daily seek those out to help while never seeking public acclaim or recognition. As a Nation, as a State, as a County, as a City and also as a Community the effects of helping just one person, family or group may not seem like a lot. In reality it can mean the world to someone in need.

As we all gather "around the table” with family and friends to give thanks for all we have been blessed with, let us not forget to remember those who are in need. May we find ways to serve others as we give thanks each and every day. Thank you to those in Bradley County who go about doing, being and promoting good, as it is your efforts that keep Thanksgiving alive everyday for ALL of us. It is also your efforts that continue to keep Bradley County, Tennessee at its best!

From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.

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