Letters to the Editor – January 28, 2015

Call to action in support of victims of domestic violence

Many times I have heard my Dad say, “Son, if you really want to get something done, you need to do it yourself.” While this may be true in some situations, there are those times when only a concerted effort of teamwork and the shared vision of many will culminate in attaining the hoped-for goals. Such is the case for the work of Pee Dee Coalition (PDC). There have been several instances when mentioning Pee Dee Coalition to someone I was in conversation with, that person’s response was, “What is Pee Dee Coalition?” While some people may not know this organization, the very issues it addresses are at the forefront of the public spectrum today. Consider the Ray Rice incident, Adrian Peterson, news reports, statistical data, sexual assault on college campuses, and legislation currently being proposed in the upcoming session of the S.C. General Assembly.

Pee Dee Coalition (www.peedeecoalition.org) is a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to the reduction of sexual assault, family violence, and child abuse and to the needs of victims. It is the belief of PDC that the reduction of family violence, sexual assault, and child abuse is a community issue and concerns the total community – not only women – not only service providers – but all who value the basic human desire to be free from physical threat and harm. PDC serves Dillon, Marion, Marlboro, Chesterfield, Florence, Darlington, & Williamsburg Counties. South Carolina currently bears the stigma of ranking second in the nation for the number of women killed by men – usually men the victims themselves are acquainted, or in relationship, with. We previously ranked first for two consecutive years.

My wife and I are not frequent movie-goers by any means, but we recently made a point to attend a viewing of the movie “Selma.” We both were emotionally moved by what the movie depicted and especially by the outpouring of people from all strata of society who had come to Selma in the pursuit of justice. With a growing sense of frustration and disappointment, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made an impassioned plea to religious leaders and citizens all across America to come join them in Selma in their struggle for justice. In response to his plea and the national televised reports of violence being unleashed against the marchers, the people came.

In light of this, the question we must ask ourselves is: Are we, as citizens of our local communities, willing to take a stand against what we do not always bear witness to but know that such violence does exist? If so,

Come join us in our efforts to combat these egregious offenses that are literally destroying homes and families in our state, but yet often go unnoticed and unreported.

Come join us with the needed financial support and voluntary service to provide critical services to both victim and offender that could restore hope and dignity for a productive way of life.

Come join us by offering public venues for speakers to bring further awareness of these issues of violence and ways in which the public and civic groups can help.

Come join us in a concerted effort to envision and strive for a community that glorifies God by bringing healing, help, and hope as we recognize all people as created in God’s image and who have value in God’s eyes.

Paul E. Gasque
Board Member, Dillon County Chapter of Pee Dee Coalition
Board Member, Regional Board of Directors for Pee Dee Coalition

Kiwanis International celebrates 100th anniversary milestone

Did you know that Kiwanis International helped eradicate Iodine Deficiency Disorder in the world (which was the #1 cause of mental retardation)? Currently the Carolinas District of Kiwanis has raised enough money to save over 10,000,000 babies from dying from Maternal Neo Natal Tetanus. Kiwanis is as global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time.

Over the coming year, Kiwanis clubs worldwide are celebrating Kiwanis International’s 100th anniversary. The International service organization was founded on January 21, 1915, and today boasts more than 600,000 members ranging from elementary school aged children through adults, in more than 6,000 clubs in 80 nations. Kiwanis and its family of clubs, including Circle K International for university students, Key Club for high school students age 14‐18, Builders Club for middle school students age 11‐14, Kiwanis Kids for elementary students age 6‐12 and Aktion Club for adults living with disabilities, dedicate annually more than 18 million service hours to strengthen communities and serve children.

Very few organizations are 100 years strong, and the fact that communities around the world have benefited from Kiwanis service for a century is no small thing. But closer to home, Kiwanis serves the children in over 175 communities in North and South Carolina.

The Darlington Kiwanis Club meets every other Thursday at 1 p.m. at Darlington Country Club and can be found online at www.facebook.com/DarlingtonKiwanis. So you have seen firsthand all the good they do for the children. For more information about Kiwanis, visit www.kiwanis.org or www.carolinakiwanis.org.

The Darlington Club chartered in 1921 is one of the oldest clubs in the district.

The club sponsors community projects such as the Annual Carol Lighting Service, Terrific Kids, Darlington High School Key Club, Dixie Youth Baseball, All A’s recognition in Darlington, Key Club Scholarships, Darlington Free Medical Clinic, The Lord Cares Ministry, Boy Scouts of America, Kiwanis District and International Foundations, the Darlington Veterans Memorial, the West End Heritage Memorial, and other projects approved by the Board of Directors.

I invite you to make a difference in the lives of children in your community with Kiwanis by supporting our fundraising, service projects or better still, becoming a Kiwanian. Those interested in learning more about Kiwanis, or visiting a meeting, or helping us establish a new club, please contact our district office at 800‐739‐1827 or your local club.

Gary Cooper
Governor of the Carolinas District

The Darlington Kiwanis Club will hold a 100th Anniversary luncheon at 1 p.m. Thursday, January 29, at Darlington Country Club with Mr. Gary Cooper as the speaker.

Author: Duane Childers

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