Letters to the editor, Feb. 1

Jan. 31, 2014 @ 01:34 PM

Generosity helped thousands of children

I’m writing to thank Durham area residents for their generosity in helping thousands of suffering children worldwide this Christmas. Through their efforts, we were able to collect more than 14,000 shoeboxes — filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene items — for Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind. These simple gift-filled shoeboxes communicate to needy children that they are loved and not forgotten.
Although drop-off locations in the Durham area are closed until November 2014, shoebox gifts can be packed any time. Gifts are received year-round at Samaritan’s Purse (801 Bamboo Road, Boone, N.C., 28607) or using the project’s online tool, where donors can virtually build a box. To get involved, visit samaritanspurse.org or call (704) 583-1463.
Thanks again to everyone who participated in this project. A simple gift, packed with love, can communicate hope and transform the lives of children worldwide.
Chris Ramsey
Charlotte
Carolinas Regional Director, Operation Christmas Child


Heron was part of the calvary
Years ago, we learned that Hanson Aggregates, the world's largest cement maker, wanted to build a cement batch plant at the end of Denfield Road. We found out on a Monday; the Development Review Board vote was that Friday.
We started contacting people, sending emails. More than a few said not to bother; DRB approval was a technical formality. Tuesday was neighborhood listservs, Wednesday was contacting elected officials and Denfield neighbors, Thursday was reporters calling.
Friday morning, walked into the DRB meeting. Not feeling too good about things.
Then I saw Becky Heron and Ellen Reckhow quietly sitting in the third row. Becky had this wonderful smile on her face. The calvary.
Last month, I walked with my kids along the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, between West Point and Penny's Bend. A peaceful hike. I looked across the Eno at the back of Teer Quarry, now an emergency water supply for Durham, in times of drought. That's where the cement batch plant would have gone. A heron flew down the valley. The trees were singing. It was beautiful.
Thank you, Becky. Rest in peace. Rest in peace.
John Schelp
Durham