Recently, I’ve had the chance to be a contributor to our local paper, the Bristol Herald Courier. It is a lot of fun to write for them and I am learning how to write for a newspaper. So far, I’ve written two pieces for them. The first contribution, Fatherhood: A Challenge and Reward, is a reworking of something I wrote earlier. The second contribution, Helping With Handouts Can Hurt, is my latest contribution. It may prove to be a bit controversial; it deals with an issue that a lot of towns are facing: how to help those in need.
Bristol is a great community. It is where my wife and I both grew up and where we felt compelled to return to when we left St. Louis. It is beautiful here. The mountains speak deeply to my soul and the people are warm and caring. Like a lot of small towns, Bristol has suffered its share of economic downturns. However, in the last few years, our downtown (State Street – because it is where the border of TN and VA meet) has seen a revival. It is fantastic.
With that revival, however, has come a rise in people asking for money on the street. I wrote an article for the paper speaking to that issue (Helping With Handouts Can Hurt). If you have time, read it over and give me your thoughts.