ENTERPRISE SHOWS HOW MUCH IT VALUES KIDS
Young people in Enterprise, take note.
Your parents and other adults in the community deeply care about you.
That care is evidenced by the fund-raising effort being led by the Enterprise Education Foundation. The non-profit organization is trying to get 1,000 friends of education to each make a $300 donation to help restore art, music, home-ec, agriculture and sports programs that recently were cut from the school districts budget.
By mid-week, the foundation had received some $55,000 in pledges from 100 people. Thats a whole lot of folks in Enterprise who do not want to see students deprived of programs that help round out their educational experience.
The budget cuts were made largely due to the recession that has hit Oregon, reducing state tax dollars available for schools. Enterprise, like so many other rural communities, has been hit by a decline in its student enrollment. As the areas economy has declined, many families have moved away, contributing to a loss of 150 students over the past five years. State funding levels are directly tied to a school districts enrollment.
Whether the Enterprise Education Foundation is able to achieve its lofty goal of 1,000 contributors, the effort is significant. Its heartening to see so many residents of a community who are willing to contribute to help sustain quality in their schools. The $55,000 is only a start.
Businesses thinking about locating or expanding in Northeast Oregon should take a close look at Enterprise. The community is showing how much it cares for its children and its schools. And that should be attractive to business.
NOT JUST WAR MACHINE
Its good to see how two Portland-based humanitarian aid organizations are moving quickly to help meet the needs of the people of Afghani-stan who were rocked by an earthquake earlier this week. Hundreds of people died and many others were injured in the temblor that struck the Hindu Kush Mountains in northern Afghanistan.
Mercy Corps has bases 80 miles from the epicenter. Officials are ready to quickly send hundreds of blankets, tents and cooking kits to families whose homes were destroyed by the earthquake.
Northwest Medical Teams, also based in Portland, has provided medical services to refugees in Mazar-e-Sharif, about 120 miles away from the epicenter. Team volunteers are expected to help provide medical assistance to the quake victims.
The U.S. military has had a heavy presence in Afghanistan since fall. The people there need to see that the United States has much more to offer them than ground troops and air strikes to root out the Taliban and other pro-terrorist forces.
The earthquake gives the United States yet another opportunity to show its humanitarian side.