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Letter: Help for children from Shriners never far away

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of Daily Journal.

Tragedy can strike any one of us, in less time than it takes to read this sentence.

Every year, but especially during the winter, we watch TV newscasts or we read an article in the local newspaper about a tragic home fire in which one or more children has died or has been horribly burned, or perhaps a story about a child being scalded in hot water (accidental or otherwise).

We feel sorry for the victims — especially since they are children, and for the family and sometimes, for one another, if we happen to know the people involved.

We take up collections, we hold fundraisers, and we do anything we can, maybe because we are grateful that this didn’t happen to one of our own.

But unfortunately, in a few days, the incident is all but forgotten — until the next tragic event and then the cycle will begin all over again — and unfortunately, it will happen again.

Beyond the immediate grief, the family will face enormous hospital and doctor bills, maybe for several years ahead. Little can be done about the grief people suffer after a tragic and devastating event, only time will take some of the guilt or self-blame away, if ever.

Most people do not know or realize that help is available for any child, up to the age of 18, who was injured in a fire or for a child that was born with certain birth defects.

This help is available regardless of the ability to pay for the hospital or the doctors or the long-ongoing rehabilitation required by some of these children.

There is a group of men right in your own community, or just a short distance away, that are willing to come to the assistance of any child described above. All it takes is a phone call. This group is the Shriners. You don’t have to look far to find the club nearest you.

If you have or know of someone who has a child who was born with a covered birth defect or has been injured in some type of fire, please contact that Shrine Club right away. The parent organization is the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

“Our patients often say Shriners Hospitals for Children are not like other hospitals. Families have said: They don’t look like hospitals; they don’t smell like hospitals; everyone is friendly and helpful; we are treated like people, not numbers; our questions are always answered, and the whole family’s emotional needs are met.”

— Gordon J. Husk, former chairman, Board of Governors, Shriners Hospital, Chicago.

Please consider sharing this article with any organization, of which you may be a part, i.e., church, employment, social club, union or school. And if you personally know someone with a child described above, please share this information with them. Thank you.

John Lucero

Brown County Shrine Club


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