Letter to the Editor:
WHY??? Why do bad things happen to good people?
I need to inform residents, especially seniors, of Sharp County and those who care a lick about fairness and compassion regarding an injustice that just happened. I stumbled upon grief, distrust and agitation when I returned for lunch after a month’s absence, to a silent, almost unoccupied Cherokee Senior Center.
”What’s going on, or rather, where is everybody?” I asked. “Diane was fired,” one responded. “Why?” I questioned. No one of the six at the table knew. The consensus was unanimous that something was wrong because Diane turned her keys in, cleaned off her desk and left.
This fits with the topsy-turvy happenings in our world. What’s right is wrong and what’s wrong is right. How could a woman who so graciously went over and beyond the requirements of her job description and everyone’s expectations be so rudely let go 12 days before Christmas? What about all the work and expense to put together the Christmas party and scheduled activities that we’re looking forward to? They were perplexed and so was I.
It is well known that the powers to be have been trying to consolidate our senior centers, but we have fought that idea. We even had Arkansas Representative Scott Baltz helping us get our story out that we seniors need our local group close by. Traveling to other towns was not something we felt was in our best interests. Could that be what is happening? No one has explained anything to us about what is happening to us.
Our director always saw to it that we were in the societal loop of what was happening, treated us alike in our community. In addition to lunches and Meals on Wheels, she saw to it that we had fun opportunities, such as free movies, parties, bringing in speakers who educated us, classes that were held in our center so we didn’t have to drive distances to access them, arranged outings and socialization opportunities outside our area in the vans provided by the center, plus she had adults and children come and entertain us. Most importantly, she genuinely cared about each of us and especially kept up with those with special needs, without family or friends nearby. She would let us know when they might enjoy a visit need help with something when appropriate.
This woman was generous making certain that when volunteers or paid staff weren’t replaced, fund raisers were held so that our center wasn’t lacking in cleanliness, treats, condiments, etc. due to a lack of funding.
Talented in administration, care giving, tenacity, culinary skills, artistic talent and a heart full of love and understanding for the special needs of our members was freely shared. There are givers and takers, and she is a giver.
We were growing together as a community of friends and working together to help each other. People were playing games, we had freedom and a comfortable and friendly environment, received healthier, tastier meals for only $3 that we didn’t have to slave over. Our members are outraged, hurt, and fearful of what’s to come. Can anyone do something to help us keep our Cherokee Village “Life” Center as Diane has so graciously and effectively developed here in Cherokee Village?
SOS: Ditto this for Hardy Senior Center. Their director, Donna, and Diane worked closely together supporting each other. She is another dedicated and reliable saint. The same atmosphere and love were there as well. I just learned they also fired her???!!! I speak for myself. However, I’m not the only one who is upset at these events. I pray that people respond to fix what is broken in this system and keep our local directors who somehow worked to fulfill the expectations of the system and gave our needs a voice.