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A dollar can make a difference at Clearwater Free Clinic

Editor: Today we just don't get much for a buck. Yes, I mean $1. Or do we?

Recently I had the opportunity to help an individual who was unable to be helped by other agencies in this county for many and varied reasons. He needed medication and other medical attention he could not afford, because he is on Social Security and not Medicare or Medicaid. He has limited income.

I was able to secure an appointment for him at the Clearwater Free Clinic on N Fort Harrison Avenue. Its all-volunteer nurses, doctors, etc. are not supported by any local, federal, state or other government. They are not politically motivated or operated.

I spent two hours there watching and even went into the room with the person I brought. They are treated in the same way as if they were a regular paying patient. Children are given excellent care.

It's open to most people whose circumstances warrant help, without discrimination. Only those able to pay for care or who have insurance are not treated.

Back to the buck. A $1 contribution from each person who reads this letter would allow these good people to help more people and have more medicine to treat with. They receive only whatever donations various civic and other groups can give.

How many times do we spend a dollar for nothing really and realize this dollar could help many people? They don't dispense drugs, only medicine. They provide for X-rays and other services through various local hospitals when needed.

If you want to know more about how they operate, call them or write them. Send a dollar. It's not much, but from hundreds it will make a difference.

Clarence E. Center Jr., Clearwater

It is useless to cling to religion

Editor: Must we have a Religion section all week? I realize you have no control over the topics of letter writers such as "Volunteers demonstrate our compassion" (Oct. 1), but articles such as "

"Rain' makes religious man ever stronger" and "God has an incredible way of bringing us down" are in sections supposed to be news.

What is news about a man suffering hardship and refusing to face it, wallowing in a state of denial and claiming, "God never makes a mistake"? How does he know? For that matter, how does he know God even exists? He doesn't; and while I might have every sympathy for his plight, his clinging to superstition is certainly nothing new. Humanity has invented such beliefs for eons whenever events exceed comprehension, giving false comfort to victims of random events.

What is news about Richard Dortch making excuses for his scurrilous behavior and claiming that it's all part of God's design? God didn't bring Dortch down, humanity did. There was never a single instance when God broke into the television broadcasts with a telltale message about these charlatans.

The most accurate writing is, surprisingly, from the Salvation Army. Yes, if there is a God, it is certainly responsible for creating "God's poor" and for keeping this segment of humanity suffering for ages.

Volunteers may demonstrate compassion, but praising this cruel, probably non-existent being demonstrates irrationality. A rational believer would curse the source of pain and suffering.

Why don't you talk to some of those who have suffered hardship and dealt with it without sinking into denial? They're out there.

I know one man whose wife is also hanging on the edge of existence, who has not turned to useless deity begging.

I know another whose brother recently chose his own "final exit" when faced with deterioration and death; instead of lamenting the loss, the survivor is cheered knowing that his brother died with his dignity intact.

There are more out there, but you won't find them hanging out in churches. You have to seek groups based in reality, such as Atheists of Florida or Humanists of the Suncoast.

Brent Yaciw, Seminole

Fair organizers deserve thanks

Editor: On behalf of the North Area Council of the Greater Clearwater Chamber of Commerce, I would like to extend my appreciation to John Wiser, special events chairman, and his committee members who planned and organized the Countryside Free Fair at the Countryside Community Park on Sept. 27.

The event drew 700 participants of all ages to support the funding and construction of a Countryside Community Center. More than 240 adults completed the Clearwater Parks and Recreation Department survey concerning the need for a community center and its desired facilities.

Mark N. Abdo, Clearwater

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