Readers’ Views

Working together

To the Editor:

Being together with friends and family is a hallmark of the holiday season. For Kinship, its mentors and families, another key part of the holidays is working together to make the holiday the best it can be for everyone. This year was no exception. We were fortunate to be able to partner with others in our community as we celebrated the Christmas season.

On Dec. 1, we held our annual Kinship Christmas party with our mentors and mentees. For the first time, we had our party at St. John’s United Church of Christ. For those who are unaware, Kinship’s office is housed in the parsonage of St. John’s, and we decided to further explore an already wonderful partnership by utilizing the church space, conveniently located right next door. In addition to their wonderful hospitality, we were treated to a beautifully decorated hall in which to hold our party. The folks there who were decorating for Christmas even asked us if we had any preferences before they began.

In addition, each year at our party we are able to offer wonderful gifts to all of our mentees through a generous donation from the Minnesota Trucking Association, which works with us to find out who is in our program and to make sure there are age-appropriate gifts for all of our kids.

We are also thankful for our local American Legion for its financial contribution to Kinship, which helps us so much when we host activities so they do not become a burden on our program. They have helped us out a few different times with funds for our activities, some of which were used for our Christmas party in December. We are thankful for our continued partnership with them.

In addition to all of the help and donations we received for our Christmas party, we were so grateful to receive an incredibly generous donation from the staff at Kahler Automation who helped us provide for our Kinship families during the holidays. Each holiday season, their staff raises money that is then donated to an organization of their choosing. This year, the staff overwhelmingly chose Kinship. We were so honored to be able to work together with them, and so encouraged by their willingness to reach out to our community as well.

It truly was a very Merry Christmas for Kinship, and now we are looking forward to all the possibilities this new year brings.

Jen Kahler, director

Kinship of Martin County


Let’s be compassionate

To the Editor:

Someone reading the recent Sentinel editorial, “Refugees Aren’t Coming” might get the impression that it does not matter if Martin County commissioners vote to allow refugees into the county or not. With all due respect, how the commissioners vote does matter. This vote is symbolic. The very fact that states and counties are forced to vote on this issue is meant to heighten fear and alienate us from one another, immigrants and refugees.

The purpose of this letter is to encourage the Martin County commissioners to vote to allow refugees into the county.

(Note: A federal judge on Jan. 15 “temporarily suspended a new Trump administration policy that allowed state and local authorities to opt out of receiving refugees, concluding that the policy would likely be found to be illegal. The preliminary injunction blocks an executive order from September that empowered governors and county and city officials to effectively reject refugees fleeing persecution around the world.” – from the New York Times.)

Refugees are human beings who come to the United States of America because they must flee their homeland due to dangers to themselves or family members from war or persecution or other reasons.

As one county commissioner told me last week, to accept refugees is the compassionate thing to do. “We are a compassionate people.”

Thank you for your time.

Peter Engstrom


What is ACS CAN?

To the Editor:

As we start a new year, do you know what American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network – ACS CAN is?

Did you know that a lot of important decisions about cancer are made not just in the doctor’s office, but also at your local city council meeting, state legislature, Congress and the White House? That’s why ACS CAN is here.

ACS CAN is the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, which means our volunteers and staff work to encourage lawmakers to fund cancer research; pass laws that help cancer patients, survivors and our families; and make sure cancer patients’ voices are heard.

If you would like to know more about ACS CAN and the work they do or get involved, visit the website fightcancer.org. There is a lot of interesting information there and you can contact Sami Jo Helmers-Nelson at (507) 236-1231 or samijo.helmersnelson@cancer.org

Marsha Williams

Martin Count Relay for Life



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