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Your Views: Federal programs are still needed to help those with no other options
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Re: “Fed programs have replaced voluntary aid,” letter of Oct. 7: David Long feels that the federal government has taken over the things that we should do to help our fellow man. He hopes that men are good enough to do the right thing for one another without any government intervention.

Indeed, his last statement, “... wouldn’t it be wonderful if we took care of the rest ourselves?” is being done daily all across this country through organizations that encourage volunteers, such as the Red Cross, Meals on Wheels and myriad others. But the needs are so great that these organizations cannot do the job by themselves.

Mr. Long, if you no longer have any family, you do not have a church and know no one in your community, who do you fall back on in time of need? State and federal governments provide the health care and services that we need in those times.

Instead of complaining that we are giving too much away in government help programs, we should be appreciative that those programs exist. If Americans did not have these programs, we would be just like India, Brazil and other countries who do little to nothing to take care of the poor. I, for one, am proud my government has these programs and I thank the people who work in them.

Because we do not live in a perfect world, in many cases kindness and care have to be “forced” on people, which is why there is so much government intervention, state and federal. Government regulation is there to keep many charitable programs honest. The greatest majority of charities are run by honest, good people. But checks and balances help to keep them so. Although I hate all of these regulations as much as any citizen, I know some are necessary and right for our governments to provide.

There are many good organizations out there in need of volunteers. All one has to do to find one is to look in the paper. The Times lists them quite frequently. They are there and they need all the help they can get.

If Mr. Long does not at present belong to such an organization, I hope that he will very soon, for the majority of those receiving help are still appreciative for help received.

Margaret Holifield

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