+ Consider giving the gift of friendship this season
While you are rushing around buying gifts for people on your list, why not think about giving the gift of friendship? The holidays are not a great time for everyone, and for people struggling with depression or other mental illnesses it could be the loneliest and saddest time of the year. When we hear in the news about high-profile people who end their lives or continue to live in seriously compromised situations we think, “That’s a shame,” but don’t necessarily do anything about it. Compeer offers a unique opportunity to be a part of the solution.
Compeer (a French word meaning friend or companion) is an international program that has been in existence for more than 40 years that matches community volunteers in friendship with a person who is receiving mental health services. For some participants it is literally lifesaving, and for most it is a highlight of their recovery. The program is simple and only requires four hours of shared time a month, although, for some, the friendships last a lifetime.
Would you look into your heart and see if there is room for a Compeer friend? Donations to keep the program running are also welcome: It is cost-effective and may provide the extra TLC that prevents hospitalization or homelessness — well-worth your consideration. Please help spread the word! Contact Compeer Sarasota at Coastal Behavioral Healthcare Inc. or check out our national website at compeer.org. Call 927-8900, Ext. 1126 for Sandi Kaiser for more information.
Bunny Skirboll and Kathy Maybee
+ ‘Government of laws’
The Sarasota Jaycees for many decades developed some of this community’s leading citizens. Every meeting we recited our beliefs, which contained the statement, “Government should be of laws rather than of men.”
As you watch national and state situations play out on TV, watch how individuals talk about laws, then complain how certain people are being abused for their actions by those legislators or law-enforcement people upholding the law.
The pendulum swings two ways on favoritism. One day one who may receive special privilege over another the next day could find another getting privilege over him under the same concept.
If you don’t believe the law is just, change it. Otherwise you will end up tomorrow becoming what you are protesting against today.
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