More than numbers matter in STEPS decision

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, July 8, 2020

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To The Editor:

I am writing on behalf of the employees of the STEPS recycling program and for my concern for their well-being. I worry about them because I understand how their lives have been disrupted and how much they need to get back to STEPS and the program that has become part of their lives.

Some years ago, I met a lady that had raised an autistic young man almost singled-handedly, from his infancy to his last years in high school. I was overwhelmed by her kind heart and the way she interacted with that young man and how he so depended upon her. After several years of dating, we married and thus began our journey together of helping Josh maneuver through a world and life that few will understand. So many people applaud and thank me for coming into Josh’s life and helping Beth through the struggles, but I almost cringe each time they compliment me. Josh is not a burden or a struggle, he is one of God’s children and few people in this world will ever know the joy that God gives us by helping a person like Josh navigate through this world.

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However, there is one person in our community who knows those joys and how to return that joy to those who need it most. That person is Sharon Harrup and we are blessed with her and so many other people at STEPS that have found work and joy for our most special people in the community and I wish more people knew and understood how important that work is to their well-being.

Many of us wake each morning knowing what our schedule will be and what our treats for each day or week will be. Maybe we will go to a movie, or dinner with friends, or maybe a bike ride, or maybe a trip to the beach, and of course, work. Special people have little to no control over their schedule, they can’t drive, they can’t make plans, or get excited about a date, a new birth, or so many things that we take for granted in our lives. They do, however, have calendars, they know meal times, and if they are fortunate to have a job, they know they are going to work, and for many, work is the most exciting part of their lives. It is the place that brings them out of the security of their room, to a place where they have friends, where they feel safe, appreciated, and a place where they feel they belong. For now, that has been taken away from them and for those who know and understand these routines, this is a very sad time.

I run a fairly successful business in Farmville, so I understand numbers and how important it is to be responsible with money. I also know that sometimes money spent one way provides so much more in other ways, and that has guided me many times when helping my employees or someone in need. I am asking that when you crunch the recycling numbers, that maybe more than numbers be considered. Please consider how much the recycling program at STEPS benefits the most vulnerable people in the county. Please consider the people that we as God’s children and good citizens should help, whenever humanly possible.

Jim Garrett


Kinex Telecom, Inc.