The Ottumwa Courier

Letters to the Editor

November 22, 2012

Be thankful for many blessings this season

OTTUMWA — This holiday season, remember to be thankful for the things we often take for granted. I’ve been serving in the Peace Corps in South Africa for the past 16 months, and living amongst some of the poorest people in the world has made me realize how grateful I am for growing up in Iowa.

As you turn on the faucet to begin preparing Thanksgiving dinner, remember the millions of those around the world who live without access to safe drinking water. People in my village push wheelbarrows to the communal taps every day to collect enough water for their families, struggling with impossible heavy loads, occasionally balancing them on their heads.

When you turn up the heat to stave off the winter cold, remember those who brave months of below-zero temperatures, shivering in cement rooms as cold as walk-in coolers. Imagine teaching children who are wearing thin, torn sweatshirts, running barefoot over the frozen Kalahari sands.

As you gather to give thanks over a table heaped with food, pause to consider the children in my village who are painfully thin, with golden, brittle hair due to acute protein deficiency. The school provides one meal per day, and for some children, that is all they receive.

And as you recover from a hearty meal with your loved ones gathered around, think of the 20 percent of the kids in my school who are considered orphans and vulnerable children, largely due to the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa that has devastated a generation.

Everyone is surrounded by blessings, and we all must remember to be thankful. Living in South Africa has provided me a personal understanding of global poverty and reminds me to be thankful every single day. As you go about the holiday season, consider giving some time, energy or money to those less fortunate in the USA or abroad.

Jennifer Daugherty

U.S. Peace Corps South Africa


Text Only
Letters to the Editor
  • Guardian angel rescued me On Dec. 18, I had been to Walmart and as always, I stopped by the Walmart gas station to fill my car up. I got out, pumped gas and I went to get in the car. I locked my keys in! So I had no choice but go see if the cashier could help me. And lo and b

    January 21, 2014

  • Why close plant when it could be cleaned up? Doe Run Company, south of St. Louis, is the third-largest lead smelter in the world and the only one in the western hemisphere. They provide for the lead demand in the U.S. and are a major contributor to the world market. On Dec. 31, they close due

    November 8, 2013

  • Collect lids and fight breast cancer The Southeast Iowa Affiliate of Susan G. Komen represents a 10-county area in its fight to end breast cancer. Your local affiliate is fighting for the screening and treatment programs that save lives and the research that brings us closer to a cure.

    November 8, 2013

  • Who are Tea Party Patriots? First and foremost, if you love God, you may be a Tea Party Patriot. Second, if you love this country we call the United States of America, you may be a Tea Party Patriot. Third, if you value freedom and all the people in our past and present who hav

    November 5, 2013

  • Branstad, please use the heart God gave you To Gov. Terry Branstad of Iowa: Please use the heart that God gave you. I am a senior citizen who is suffering needlessly because you have outlawed the only substance that can take away my horrible pain and discomfort. Pharmaceutical narcotics are in

    November 5, 2013

  • Library doing many great things for the community This past week was National Friends of the Library week. Here in Ottumwa, our public library would not be able to provide all the materials, resources and programming that it does without the support and assistance provided by our local Ottumwa Publ

    October 29, 2013

  • It's up to you to make Ottumwa great If a person were truly honest with themselves every time they bought something they would ask, "Am I getting my money's worth?" If the person selling would truly be honest with themselves they might ask, "Have I met or exceeded my customers' expectat

    October 29, 2013

  • Life too complex My knowledge of electronics stops with the on and off switch. I was persuaded to try a new-fangled cell phone. One of the more simple ones. It takes pictures, prints them, records day, date, time. Tells me where I am, where I should be, how I got the

    October 29, 2013

  • Think before voting We just had a Sara Palin type month. Now I hear that the Tea Party wants to take over the Republican Party. They think we have too much government. People out of work, not their problem. People living on the streets, they don't care. The Tea Party th

    October 29, 2013

  • Why micromanage Halloween? I take no pleasure in composing this letter. Once again another year, the Ottumwa police have made their draconian edict of setting the date and hours for beggars night. It's too bad that even a volunteer kids' holiday has fallen under the auspices o

    October 29, 2013

AP National