For the last 15 years, I have been wandering this town and doing whatever I feel like doing at the time.
Initially, I worked at a place called Applied Extrusions Technology, which morphed into Atlantic Extrusions when a South Carolina investment company purchased it in order to run the company into the ground for profit.
My adventures here in Salem have been widespread and have kept me active and involved in the city. If you haven't met me, then you don't spend a lot of time downtown. In that case, I would like to meet you and look forward to that opportunity.
To be direct, I love this city and all it has been; all that it is; and all that it will be or could be in the years to come. Included in that love would be those of you who manage to find something negative in everything. We may agree or disagree, but all that matters is we share this place. You too are part of what makes this city special.
The one part of Salem that I support every year are those who need and deserve support more than anyone else. That would be the kids. They are the reason I went to work for the Salem YMCA, and they are the reason that my employment there lasted for seven years. My main responsibilities there were with the adults, but I was able to do things both within and outside of the actual job to help those who through no reason of their own are in a difficult situation.
I no longer work for the Salem YMCA, but I still choose to work with them. I can think of no endeavor that is more worthwhile.
Supporting the kids does not have to involve the Y. We have many organizations in Salem that support children either directly or indirectly. Some do this through daily pre-school and after-school programming and others through various kinds of educational or social assistance. All are deserving of whatever help you are able to provide. The easiest way is to make a donation directly to the organization of your choice. You could also donate your talent, your skills, your time or your compassion. It all adds up.
On Hawthorne Boulevard sits the Boys & Girls of Greater Salem. The history of that organization goes back to 1869. The havoc created by the Civil War affected families across the country. Many fathers did not return home from the battlefields. Many others who did return were injured so badly that they could not support their families. The Salem Fraternity for Boys was founded to address the social and personal issues raised by the results of that war. In 1906 the Boys Club of America was established and the Salem Fraternity became one of 14 charter members. In 1990, the word "Girls" became part of the official name.
The Foundation for Salem Public Education, HAWC, the Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann, Lifebridge, Plummer Home For Boys, Sail Salem, Salem Arts Association, Salem Cyberspace, Salem Little League, Salem Rotary Club, Salem Youth Soccer, Salem-Ota Club, and the Salvation Army are all present and active in our city. They all do good things.
The next time you feel like criticizing someone or something for the way things are, take a moment to think. Ask yourself some questions.
Was there someone in my past who offered a helping hand to my family when I was kid?
Have I offered that same helping hand to the children of Salem today?
Positive things happen because positive people make them happen. Have a great Monday, Salem.