Panhandler tale taps into problem with modern mindset
I loved Daniela Caride’s story, “A look of recognition: Inside the life
of a Harvard Square panhandler” (First Person, April 17, 2008). It
certainly came to me at an interesting time.
My grandmother, who lives in Hingham, was a journalism major at
Michigan State University, which I attend. During my three years here,
she has kept me updated on good journalistic information that has
helped me for quite some time. She told me about your newspaper in a
recent e-mail, and I thought I’d check to see if you had a Web site.
This was the first story to catch my eye. And I’m glad it did.
What is also interesting is that the same day I read that story, in my
philosophy class, my professor became very passionate about the
discussion of being. (I’m taking a class on the German philosopher
Martin Heidegger, whose entire ideology surrounded the rudimentary
point in which a person “is.”) My professor described the result of
today’s modern society — how, though we have so many forms of
technology designed to keep us connected with the world, the hundreds
of people we pass each day go unnoticed by us because of our
“plugged-in” mentality. And so often we are missing out on meeting such
I’m glad that Ms. Caride didn’t miss out on meeting John. I’m also glad
that she was able to write a story about it, opening the eyes of so
many others. I don’t believe this story would have made it to some
other newspapers — a sad truth, but a wonderful silver lining, that a
weekly newspaper can fill this gap. I pray that such work continues to
be placed into the papers like yours throughout the country. Thank you
again for writing it.
A thank you to Hub volunteers
National Volunteer Week, which begins Sunday and runs through May 3, is
one of the highlights of the year for The Fresh Air Fund, and I would
like to use this opportunity to extend my deepest thanks to our
dedicated Fresh Air hosts, volunteers and supporters in the Boston
area. They truly embody the meaning of the 2008 National Volunteer Week
theme, “Volunteer to Change the World.” Year after year, our volunteers
demonstrate their commitment to helping New York City children by
continuing the Fresh Air tradition in the community.
Our volunteers are our heroes. Caring host families open their homes
and share the everyday joys of summertime with their Fresh Air guests.
Our local volunteer leaders — many of whom are also hosts — give by
serving on our local committees, planning summer activities,
publicizing the program and interviewing prospective host families. I
would also like to thank all of the individuals and businesses that
have generously given their time and resources to make the host family
program throughout this area a great success each and every summer.
The Fresh Air Fund has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7
million New York City children since 1877. For more information on how
you can help to continue this tradition, call The Fresh Air Fund at
800-367-0003 or visit www.freshair.org.
Fresh Air Fund