2018-01-25 / Opinion

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Wounded Warrior Project Looks Ahead to 2018

To the Editor:

The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) begins its 15th year grateful for the opportunity to continue serving more than 135,000 injured veterans, their family members and their caregivers.

The WWP’s Team Newport provides this update on fundraising and caregiving operations for 2017 and looks ahead to 2018. Each year since 2008, our local team has been busy hosting several events, including golf tourneys, sailing events, the annual canoe/kayak race and other civic events. The Newport Team was honored as one of the top WWP “Community Events” groups in the country in the recent 2017 WWP annual report.

The WWP connects injured veterans with free programs and community resources. In 2017, the charity engaged more than 341,000 times with warriors, their families and caregivers. WWP made more than 109,000 wellness checks, while more than five million copies of the weekly email newsletter reached warriors.

These connections are important. In a recent survey of veterans, four in five mentioned social engagement and support as key factors in their rehabilitation and recovery. In short, connecting warriors with fellow veterans through WWP programs and services helps eliminate the isolation many feel as they return to civilian communities, and it helps them connect with additional programs and services that assist in their recovery.

WWP programs focus on mental and physical health and wellness, career and benefits counseling and long-term care for the most seriously wounded warriors. Warrior Care Network, an innovative collaboration between WWP and four top academic medical centers, provided more than 42,000 hours of clinical mental health care last year.

WWP empowers injured veterans to live on their terms and mentor other veterans. Career and benefits counseling made a significant impact by helping warriors earn and receive more than $180 million in income and benefits in 2017. To see how WWP's programs and services connect, serve and empower wounded warriors, visit woundedwarriorproject.org and click on multimedia.

For questions locally, please contact Mike and Odette Holty, sponsors of Team Newport, WWP, at 401-849-6922, or by email at mikeholty@hotmail.com.

Mike Holty
Newport

Working Together as a Team

To the Editor:

The Newport Community School Board of Directors wishes to share with the public a wonderful program that took place during the holiday season. At NCS, our dedicated staff offered the Giving Tree, which supports families in need that are identified by our middle and high school teachers, guidance counselors and staff of Thompson Middle School and Rogers High School. This year, 34 families (99 kids) were identified as needing help during the holiday season.

The staff of the Newport Community School made it possible for all families to receive gifts and other support. The Giving Tree is intended to focus on the basic needs of students and families (clothing, hygiene products) with a holiday dinner basket included. Once families are identified our Giving Tree was placed at Cappy’s Hillside CafĂ© – a long-time partner to the Newport Community School – where patrons picked tags off the Giving Tree which has an item for each member of our families. Patrons then return the unwrapped item for the NCS staff to sort, wrap and deliver. Due to the high volume of each family’s needs, RaNew Salon also participated in helping to meet the needs of our families as well as the Sole Desire/Run Newport, Hannah Street Consulting, Aaronson, Lavioe, Stretifeld and Diaz, Southern New England Alumnae Chapter Zeta Tau Alpha, the Aquidneck Island Adult Learning Center Program Staff, , the Choice Family, the Palmer Family, the Bowley Family, the Russo Family, the Fountain Family, the McCarthy Family, the Ferreira/Loftus Family, the Doucette Family, the Mullowney Family, the Berlinsky family the Dugan Family, the Silveria Family, the Raffa Family, the Chandler Family, the Vieira Family and the Shea Family.

The Board would like to recognize our local business as well as our local community groups and individual donors for supporting the mission and goals of NCS.

NCS’ Board of Directors feel the organization and community is fortunate to have staff members who display commitment, dedication, integrity and compassion; not just during the holiday season but each and every day working with students and families. It is our staff and NCS’ unique partnership with Newport Public Schools, our host schools Thompson Middle School and Rogers High School as well as special community members that truly make a difference in the lives of our students while at the same time contribute to the vitality of our community by working together as a team.

Newport Community School
Board of Directors
Pam Breves, Board Chair; Robert
Campion; Lt. Michael Ferreira;
Kevin O. Hagan, Esq.; Stephen L.
Hines; Rachael Prendergast;
Dr. Martha Rose

Governor’s Budget Targets Residential Providers

To the Editor:

Gov. Raimondo and DCYF have proposed a “voluntary” cut of 12 percent in current residential treatment reimbursement rates for traumatized youth and a $4.4 million reduction in residential treatment funding for the new fiscal year. The Governor and her administration apparently have forgotten the fact that these rates were negotiated less than a year ago, in part due to new licensing regulations that she implemented. These cuts will threaten our ability to provide safe care for these traumatized youth.

Child & Family has been a leader in Rhode Island in protecting children and strengthening families for 151 years. Through the dedication of our Board, volunteers, staff and great foster parents, for the first time in our history we serve more children in foster homes than in group homes. Child & Family has led these reforms as we have cut in half the number of youth served in group homes over the past five years.

Responsible government contracting will enable us to continue these reforms. We urge the Governor to honor rate changes that her administration agreed to last year. Selective memory and misplaced blame will not save money or improve the child welfare system.

Marty Sinnott
Child & Family, President & CEO

The Fate of Rogers?

To the Editor:

In last week’s speech the Governor spoke proudly of the new trade school in Westerly that has graduated over 450 students directly to Electric Boat and a high school program in Cumberland that has had similar results. She went on to say the state will soon build another school like this in the Blackstone Valley.

My question is simple: "Where are the elected representatives from the East Bay, especially Newport County, hiding?" In Newport and Middletown alone we have a great need for this type of training, and it has to be local as most of the citizens that need it have no way to travel to attend these schools.

When I went to Rogers it had six shops, wood, paint, auto, machine, print and electronics. Those buildings are still there and I believe used for storage; auto shop is in the new building and continues today.

The old wood shop turned out some very good carpenters and at least two thriving general contractors here on the island. Setting up those buildings for the jobs that we need now should be of high priority.

Rogers High could be set up for welding or pipe fitting at a reasonable cost and be used during the school day for students and at night for adult education. There are probably other subjects that could fill out the training program but doing nothing is unacceptable.

It is past time for our representatives and senators to actually do something for those who elected them and let the rest of the state know we exist and expect to be recognized.

Jack Milburn
Newport

Inclusivity Amiss

To the Editor:

Congratulations on the continuing improvement of NTW. I look forward to Thursday so I can catch up on local Newport News. I wish it was biweekly.

My only concern with NTW is the rather feeble attempt to reach out to the Spanish diaspora by including several columns in "their" language. If you are coming to a country (legally I hope) to start a new life, then absorb and assimilate its culture and customs, don't isolate yourself from them.

I suggest that instead of the aforementioned biweekly edition, you institute Monday sessions in your conveniently located offices to teach English so people can join in, rather distance themselves from our country.

Keep up the good work.
Ed Paul

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