In the Pacific Northwest, the old adage “when it rains, it pours” can have a negative connotation. So in developing an adage with a positive connotation, for those of us who are living in the Pacific Northwest, I thought of “when the sun shines, it can really shine.”
This last week has been one of those weeks. On the heels of Battle Ground receiving the distinction for being named one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People, I participated in two activities that reminded me of how wonderful it is to live here. When the sun shines, it can really shine.
I participated in a training meeting for a coalition called Prevent Together: Battle Ground Prevention Alliance. This coalition has been organized for the purpose of preventing substance abuse among youth. Among the attendees were those who would be very recognizable to our readers: Lisa Walters, Battle Ground mayor; Bob Richardson, Battle Ground police chief; and Shonny Bria, Battle Ground School District superintendent. Other concerned citizens, law enforcement personnel, educators and social service agency representatives also participated.
This coalition’s purpose is to promote prevention. Other organizations have the arduous task of tackling addiction recovery and the elimination of current substance abuse.
Sgt. Shane Gardner, of the Clark County Sheriff’s office, said something very thought provoking during the training session. He stated that he had come to realize that “we can’t arrest ourselves out of this problem.”
I really like the fact that the organization’s goal is prevention. That is how a forward-thinking city should address this serious problem; while continuing to support efforts to help people who are already caught up in the horrible and vicious cycle associated with substance abuse.
Great communities recognize their problems and go right at them.
The first Clark County Connects Day of Service event occurred last Saturday. Work was done on numerous projects, in different areas of the county, by a significant number of volunteers. It is anticipated that this annual event will grow in both scope and participation in the years to come.
In North Clark County, a food drive was held to re-stock the dwindling supply at our local food banks and other organizations that provide food for the needy. My family and I had the opportunity to solicit donations from our neighbors and work at one of the collection points. What an inspiring day! It was amazing to see the tremendous things that could be accomplished by so many just doing their parts toward this far-reaching effort.
As the day ended, over 30 businesses, churches, community organizations and government and school entities had contributed to the success of the event. An indeterminable number of individuals and families had donated and/or served. Over 21,500 pounds of food was collected and delivered to distributing agencies.
In a time when it is difficult to get people to agree on much of anything, it was refreshing to see communities unified in promoting a common good. The sun was truly shining last week – in more ways than one.
Steve Walker may be reached at (360) 687-5151, by mail, P.O. Box 2020, Battle Ground, WA 98604, and via email at Steve@thereflector.com. The Reflector assures the public that it has no caller identification (caller ID) feature with its phone system, guaranteeing anonymity for callers who so choose.