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   Published by the Church of Scientology International

Providing a Helping Hand
 
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Freedom Magazine, published by the Church of Scientology

The Spirit of Helping
by Rev. Mary Story
Church of Scientology, Flag Service Organization

These days it is hard to avoid the constant reminders that the world situation is very unstable, even here in Clearwater where the beauty of our beaches and city can make such troubles seem far away.

Essays by young Americans, written just prior to the first memorial for 9/11, provided insight into how the world should proceed. In response to the question, "What do you think is the one most important thing people could do to make their community a better place?" a 14-year-old girl wrote:

"I think one of the more important things people could do is to help others where they need it. Also to forgive other people and not hate people. That way, the community would be united. Hurting others would not be on their mind."

In another answer, an astute 9-year-old wrote, "Every day I know that tomorrow might be my last day to live. But luckily we have friends to get us through the times we get injured, hurt and to make sure that if there is someone out there that did that, they will find them and ask them to forgive."

Fortunately, many people today are willing to extend a hand to help others in times of need. However, they often don't know what to do, and feel unable to provide effective help. Programs in the community such as the Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) of Clearwater Fire and Rescue, which we feature inside our pages, are invaluable resources that can enable all citizens to effectively respond to others, particularly in times of emergencies.

While we as a community need to be prepared for emergencies and disasters, however, there are more insidious catastrophes that are already taking their toll all around us: record rates of illiteracy, drug abuse, crime and immorality never even dreamed of decades ago; failed relationships and nearly half of all marriages ending in divorce; and failed enterprises — and the lost dreams that go with them — being commonplace.

While many people endeavor to reverse the trends and improve our communities today, it follows that the most valuable contribution we can make is to create a safe and stable future for our children. Parents, teachers, others concerned working together can build that future. We can all get behind programs and solutions that do work.

There are many religious, social and charitable groups and citizens throughout Pinellas County who are genuinely working to improve conditions. In our pages, we highlight a few of the many programs and activities that parishioners of Churches of Scientology sponsor, support or applaud, including the Volunteer Minister program, foster child assistance, drug prevention, and other activities that are already helping to build a better future for all.

As always, we welcome your comments and views.

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