Kudos for OHRA

After attending OHRA's Pasta with Purpose fundraiser Friday night, and hearing from the staff and board, I sat down next morning and read their 2016 Annual Report, reading between the lines like a storybook.

I felt the emotional import of every single word of factual information — hundreds of people, homeless and in poverty, helped in dozens of meaningful ways: to find housing or jobs, financial help to head off eviction or prevent city electric cutoff, a place to take a shower or wash laundry, to acquire necessary photo ID, or get help with legal forms; the list of essential services goes on and on.

I found myself deeply moved by the story behind the facts, which spoke of love and devotion, of compassion and empathy, of purpose, effort and commitment by tireless director Leigh Madsen, volunteers and staff, the board of directors, every single person and organization involved at every level — in reaching a helping hand to empower and strengthen those less fortunate — the complicated web of community caring that it takes to bring about this miracle.

Dot and I have been concerned for the needy, before and during the years that this once unmet need proceeded from dream to current reality. It's a stunning accomplishment, and a credit to OHRA and our town of Ashland — it's a blessing we bestow together as a community through concerted, loving effort.

The Pasta with Purpose fundraising celebration Friday night, in my opinion, bore witness to this wonder. Many thanks are due to the citizens of Ashland, our mayor and City Council and the granting organizations, multiple agencies and charities which offer help along the way in this community-wide effort.

John Fisher-Smith

Ashland

Be more mindful

At least Wednesday's cover photo in the Tidings was healthy, but on page A3, to star three people wearing combat clothes, and carrying assault weapons as models for our young, or for our visitors to see? Have we already forgotten Las Vegas? There are 300 million guns in the U.S.

I know, it was Hallowe'en, but even to dress up and play with guns gives young boys and girls the thought that it's just a game. Games can become reality when our children grow up.

Some of us are such hypocrites. We like to talk big about wanting peace, yet our government seems to prefer guns to diplomacy, even long before Trump. Wars ruin lives, and kill people.

I encourage us all to be more mindful of how we project our values.

Carola Lacy

Ashland