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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Time is Now: Victims of alcoholism need our help

Send your donation to: The Time Is Now to Help, PO Box 70, Pell Lake, WI 53157


Editor's Note: The following is a letter to The Time Is Now, a private charity serving Walworth County. The founder, who knew poverty as a child, now provides help for those in need. Every penny donated goes to the needy for daily necessities of life. Donors will receive a tax-deductible itemized receipt showing exactly where every penny was spent. We'll publish a letter most weeks.

Dear friends,

I received a call from a long time supporter asking me to clarify my donation to the Walworth County Alcohol Court (For repeat drunken drivers, a tough program, The Week, March 23).

First, I want everyone to know every penny of all donations received are used to help the poverty stricken with food, shelter assistance, clothing, utilities, toiletries, and daily necessities necessary for survival. Only donations specifically requested to be used to help in the two other areas that compound poverty, alcoholism and keeping our children safe from predators, will go to those causes.

Rest assured The Time Is Now to Help is committed to helping our fellow creations in the pains and sorrows of poverty.

Over the years, I have personally lost six friends from either being hit by drunken drivers, riding in a car with a drunken driver or being drunk themselves.

That, combined with what I see at the homes I visit for poverty assistance, I knew that something had to be done to help the victims living at home.

Most people are aware of the problems caused by drunken drivers, but that is only part of the problem.

Alcohol can also cause fetal alcohol syndrome. This is a lifelong condition caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol.

The effects can be devastating and include facial abnormalities, growth deficiencies, learning disabilities, attention deficit, behavior problems, speech, vision and hearing difficulties. These are all 100 percent preventable if a woman chooses to not drink alcohol while she is pregnant.

After I wrote my column in July of 2007, "Trying to cope with the actions of drunken drivers," I became aware of how many other counties throughout the United States are having great results, saving and changing lives, with the use of an alcohol court.

Many of you wrote in asking to help. I could not believe the great response, but after I thought on how many times I was faced with the pain and suffering of other family members of the alcoholic, in poverty situations, it hit home. We need to do something more than is already being done.

Thank God Walworth County had the professional personnel in place and was trying to get this program off the ground. Together, those who wanted to support this program, like Dr. Scot and Dr. Mona Hodkiewicz who were hit head on by an eight-time offender drunken driver, financially made our C.A.T.E. (Commitment, Accountability, Treatment and Evaluation) program a reality.

Here are some of the columns I have written over the years where alcoholism played a major part in the dissolution of families, physical and mental abuse, extreme poverty, pain inflicted on friends and strangers alike. Alcoholism is a behavior problem that needs psychological help provided with professional guidance consistently over a long period of time, in order to break the pattern. Alcohol court/C.A.T.E. offers success and a cure.

Here are some excerpts from letters I have received regarding alcohol abuse and violence at home:

May 16, 2004

Dear WC,

A woman in our neighborhood is very ill. She is a widow and has three children. I have read some of your other articles about drunken drivers. Unfortunately this woman has lost her husband because of a drunken driver. There seems to be a pattern of those that drink in excess and then drive, causing much pain and sorrow to the families that are left without their loved ones.

March 22, 2004

Dear WC,

I would like to bring to your attention a permanently handicapped individual. This person was in a terrible car accident when a drunken driver ran a stop sign. The drunken driver in this accident had already received a D.U.I. only a few months prior to this incident. The individual needing help is a good person. He has no income other than a monthly check that does not even cover, as you call, "the necessities of life?"

May 9, 2004

Dear WC,

My little boy has had open heart surgery. I also have one other child. There is no father in the picture--he left us over a year ago. We have not heard from him. The last time he was with us he was drunk, slammed the door and yelled, "I won't be back." It was sad that he was not here for the operation that saved our little boy's life. It has been very hard for me to return to work. I am not sure how long my position will be saved for me. It is so difficult to leave my little one, especially while he is recuperating.

March 7, 2005

Dear WC,

My husband was in a near-fatal accident with a drunken driver, leaving him disabled and unable to work. It has been 11 months, and he is still trying to recover.

Once again, together we have and will make a big difference. We will help many avoid the brutality, pain and suffering of being victimized by an alcoholic. Through the Alcohol C.A.T.E. Program we will truly help the alcoholic behavior problem, giving them a new attitude on life.

In conclusion, all donations will always be used to help the poverty stricken. Only if you specify your donation be used toward the prevention of extreme child abuse will it be used for that purpose. Simply write a note requesting whether you would like your donation distributed to either of these programs. Thank you.

Health and happiness,
God bless everyone,

A special thank you to: J.D. Development, MLH, Bill and Lois McEssy, Dick and Jean Honeyager, Steve and Catherine Boho, Clarence and Marilyn Schawk, owners of The Geneva Inn, The Rhoades Foundation, Paul Ziegler, Dorothy Heffernan, Barbara Morrissey, Tom and Joy Roche, Richard and Elizabeth Czaja in memory of Ed McCullough, Marjorie Welty, Georgia Clayton, Frank and Ann Huml Jr., Margarie Egger, Harry and Phyllis Tiggemann, Flitcroft Septic Systems, Joy Nelson, William and Jean Isaacson, Peter and Sandra Douglas, Jeff and Jan Beardsley, Dennis and Carol Frederick, Our Redeemer Lutheran Ladies Aid, Shawn and Donna McLafferty,



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