Helping Hands offers hope to Bell County
Feb16

Helping Hands offers hope to Bell County

lton Ministers Fellowship in 1995, Helping Hands has aided thousands of families who have fallen on hard times. Aid can be anything from groceries, items for new parents, financial help, and professional training, all at no cost to the participant. The executive director of the ministry, Rucker Preston, said it is important to have something like Helping Hands available in the community in order to solve social and economic problems that face the people of Belton, TX. “The reason we do what we do is because we believe Jesus meant what He said, so we are to follow His example and serve people in a very holistic way,” Preston said. “We do that through three different initiatives—relief, development, and advocacy.” Relief comes in the form of helping someone with their pressing physical needs like providing food, clothing, praying with them in the organization’s chapel, providing school supplies, or providing emergency needs for homeless families. “And then there’s development, which is where we work towards helping someone work their way out of poverty, save for the future to get a higher education, or find a job in our employment mentoring ministry,” Preston said. The director said it is also important for the organization and those who support it to be an advocate and a voice for the families who are trapped in poverty. Advocacy can come through talking to others about Helping Hands, providing donations, or volunteering at the organization. Senior social work major, Braden Wilson, said he chose the ministry to fulfill his internship requirements because of what they do for less fortunate families and the Kingdom of God. “I just love that Helping Hands is faith-based,” Wilson said. “[The organization] is supported by all different churches in the area who really work together to better the community.” Wilson also said that she likes Helping Hands’ holistic approach to helping each person who benefits from the ministry. “We ask them, is this helping? How can we improve this? What can we do better?” she said. “So, they really work for the clients.” Helping Hands is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization, which means the services they provide are not funded by the government. They fund their charitable giving through a resale shop, donations from private donors, and monetary support from local churches. Senior social work major and Helping Hands intern, Michael Carpenter, said the work he’s done through the organization has not only helped needy families, but it has also helped him gain a unique perspective and experience that will help him in his future career. “I am a social work major and Helping Hands directly helped me by allowing...

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More than just a water crisis?
Feb16

More than just a water crisis?

Roughly 3,000 children were poisoned by lead during Flint, Michigan’s latest water crisis. This is a man-made disaster in which every layer of government failed the people of Flint. According to the Oakland Press, “when a pediatrician hears about lead anywhere they freak out.” They freak out because in children lead can have disastrous effects, like poor muscle control, damage to the nervous system and developmental delays. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, director of pediatric residency at Hurley Children’s Hospital in Flint, conducted her own research and concluded not only that Flint residents had been drinking lead contaminated water for two years, but that lead levels in the blood of the city’s children had doubled from 2.1 percent to four percent. Officials discovered in early October that Flint’s water supply had been contaminated with lead. It wasn’t until January that the situation finally received nation-wide recognition. According to mashable.com, on January 17 Hillary Clinton blamed racism and classism for the contamination, citing that 40.1 percent of Flint residents live in poverty and 55 percent are African-American. Gazing back on history, it becomes apparent that anytime a large amount of African-Americans need help from America it takes a long time for them to receive the help they need. St. Joseph, Louisiana is also experiencing a water crisis, and the government has yet to lend a hand. More than 77 percent of its inhabitants are African-American. In New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, the African-American population was 67 percent. Federal aid was not only late after the hurricane, but insufficient during recovery efforts. The first recorded Africans came to America in 1619. Fast forward from then until now, and it is obvious America’s handling of blacks since then has been less than settling. There was a three-month plus delay in responding to Flint. It took just about that long to respond to terrorism in another country. If one accepts the terms of living in this country and works hard for it, then said person should be able to depend on his or her government to reply in a timely manner. Rapper “The Game” and Russell Simmons stepped up to help, and in the words of Simmons, “I wanted to help to show the government how they should react.” The government’s reaction to the crisis in Flint has left the black community feeling neglected and abandoned once...

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Tension builds with North Korea

The United Nations is supposed to enforce laws in all countries, and it seems to be with the help of America. Being an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, I believe in an entity designated to keep all parties in line. When North Korea tested an H-Bomb and nobody reacted, it exposed a weakness in us. Iraq committed crimes and we went to war, but North Korea tested an H-Bomb expressly forbidden by the United States, Britain, Japan, and China and we sent North Korea a letter. By the principles that America stands for we should go to war with North Korea for simply having weapons of mass destruction. I spent 31 months in Iraq helping my country find weapons of mass destruction that our enemies were keeping hidden. North Korea doesn’t even try to hide their WMDs. They are on TV playing with them. When North Korea tested that H-Bomb, I believe it was a clear message to America. If America does not put North Korea in its place then that will lead to trouble for future American generations. We must stand by the principles and rules that we have enforced in the past, or it may seem as if we are for hire. Obviously North Korea will not stop the constant bullying. When Kim Jong-Un dies, his son will probably be worse. North Korea claims America is a gang of cruel people that harms others. So the dictator feels he is backed by righteousness. This could mean war is imminent. North Korea has the guts to constantly push the limits and break the rules, but we seem to be doing nothing.. We waged war against a nation that did not even have uniforms. But yet we can’t wage war against a country that has imprisoned American students and dropped an H-bomb that they weren’t supposed to have. North Korea clearly has no intent of doing anything America...

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Campus prepares for new performing arts space
Jan28

Campus prepares for new performing arts space

As giant bulldozer arms crushed and demolished bricks and metal on Jan. 13, the campus said goodbye to the Huckins Apartment complex that has been housing students since the mid-nineties. “Huckins is supposed to be a one week job in which we will take all rubble to the landfill for UMHB.” Said Jeff Cummings, RT Schneider Construction employee during demolitions. The purpose of the tear down is to make way for the new performing arts center that is set to be finished in the fall of 2017. Although plans for this new center have been a long-time coming, associate dean of Student Development, Donna Plank, said that the demolition couldn’t take place until there was room for displaced students in other campus housing. “We had a meeting with the students in Huckins in October concerning the demolition,” Plank said. “They were told the university would grant them first-choice housing.” The removal of the apartments left 54 students displaced. In order for the project to be completed on time, the university didn’t have the luxury of waiting until the summer when apartments would be unoccupied. “The new performing arts studio is due to be built by the fall of 2017, therefore adequate steps were needed to be taken now to see that accomplished,” said Associate Vice President for Campus Planning Robert Patee. Not only did the 54 displaced students get first dibs on where they wanted to live, but they also got a price break on their new location. “The university granted the students the option to live in the most expensive units for the price of living in Huckins during their spring term,” Plank said. The Performing Arts Center is the final installment of the university’s Campus Master Plan, which was approved in 2011. The project was delayed as the university had to wait until adequate alternative housing was available. “It was occupied, and we had to wait until College View apartment beds opened,” Patee said. Now that Huckins has been removed, the university will turn its focus to the future. A ceremony will be held Feb. 5 to break ground on the new Performing Arts Center. The facility will be 40,725 square feet and will include both performing and learning spaces, and will feature a 546-seat...

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Syrian refugees deserve a chance for a better life

Considering that America was built on the principle of migration it would be a double standard to deny the Syrian refugees shelter. The only people in America that are not immigrants are the Native Americans. So, to deny any group of people access to the American dream seems against what our country is about. Not every Muslim or non-American is against America. In fact plenty of Muslims serve in the American military. The ability to deny a race of people entry into America because of migration sets a dangerous precedent. America seems to be on its way to being on the wrong side of history. I love this fine country, but these politicians seem to forget they speak for us, not just themselves. I don’t recall taking a vote on whether the Syrians should be allowed to enter or not. America is telling the whole world that they will go to war, but will not take in those who need protection from tyrannical rulers. Americans should ask themselves how much longer the world will let us be “big brother” when we are not willing to help others. We need to allow them entry and show the world America is better. We will not let anyone change who we are and what we do. Native Americans accepted and helped the settlers. Moses led the Jewish people to a land where they were taken in. And lucky for my ancestors Native Americans took in run-away slaves. History is littered with cultures who accepted different cultures despite their very obvious differences. History is also saturated with people who were accomplices to the oppression of other races. Turning your head and looking the other way, by law is being an accomplice. Americans love claiming the name of Jesus, but I wonder what Jesus would do if he saw those same people denying scared and innocent people the chance to be safe. His promise to us is admittance to Heaven as long as we follow him and prove our love. Why not give the Syrian refugees the same courtesy and give them a chance before sending them back into the arms of...

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