Look for ways to help our neighbor


I want to invite you and your family to look for opportunities to reach out and help others in our community. The sign of vitality in a community is measured in smiles, meaning the number of people who received an extension of friendship through service. This is the best lesson we can leave to our children and grandchildren.

In the 2015 state legislative session, the legislators and the Governor decided to mandate a series of pay raises for a wide variety of locally elected officials. It was certainly a magnanimous gesture prior to an election year for state legislators.

I believe the elected officials who should actually be approving such expenditures, the Board of Commissioners, should have to vote on any pay raises for the Board, judiciary and constitutional officers as well as all government employees. Since there was no vote from the Board of Commissioners, I have declined the pay raise.

In January, I asked that the funds appropriated for my personal state-gifted pay raise go to a new line item in the water system aimed at assisting single mothers who are in danger of having their water cut off because they are having difficulty paying their bill. Government staff was concerned about having to account and distribute the funds, so I am donating the funds to the Real Life Center in a special account to assist local single mothers.

From my vantage point, I have encountered a number of single mothers who are experiencing financial problems for a variety of reasons. Nothing is more painful to me than having a mother with young children call me under the real threat of having their water shut off.

If your family would like to help with this cause, send a check to the Real Life Center, Attn: Water Account; 220 Parkside Court, Suite A; Peachtree City, GA 30269. This is a great way to teach your children the importance of helping a neighbor in a desperate situation because one day the situation may be reversed.

If you own a kayak or canoe, I would love for you to help with the Water Guardians project. This is local people using their boats to pick up trash in our water reservoirs.

The first Water Guardians project will be at Lake Kedron on April 23 at 9:30 a.m. If you sign up before April 15, you will receive a free t-shirt. Send your name, email address, day time phone number and t-shirt size to WaterGuardians@fayettecountyga.gov to register.

In a week or two, you will be hearing about volunteering opportunities in May for a Habitat for Humanity project that was initiated by a group of local residents on a Facebook.com page.

A group of caring people who learned about a young couple with a small child in need of help are pulling together local families to help build a safe and happy home. Look for details to come.

Go visit the local nursing homes with your small children and some paper and crayons. When my daughters were in kindergarten, they loved to color pictures for the ladies at the nursing home. It brightened many a person’s day.

Consider donating blood to the Red Cross. Summer is a low donation period because so many people are out of town. You might save someone’s life.

Look out for the widows living in your neighborhood or attending your church. Show some love one weekend and prune their bushes and weed their flower garden. Give them a card telling them that you care about them.

Too many times we get wrapped up in chasing things that don’t really matter. Service to others helps us remember what is really important. Think about sharing this summer.

Steve Brown
Fayette County Commissioner
Peachtree City, Ga.