Right to protest

Thank you, Brice Cherry, for being the voice of reason when things so frequently get out of control. I am not a sports fan, but I always read your column and you always take a sticky situation and apply a balm of common sense.

People have forgotten what started the taking of a knee and have made it about being unpatriotic, so I appreciate you reminding us all that it is not about our flag, our country, or what race you are. It is our right as a citizen to protest the leader of our country without fear of reprisal. Isn’t that what we have fought for since the beginning?

My family came here in the 1600s and have fought and died in every war from 1776 to Afghanistan. They did that so that we can all, repeat all, express our opinion. We don’t have to agree, but we have to extend the same freedoms to everyone. But if you are in a position of great responsibility such as the president, you need to temper your words with wisdom and thought the way you did in your article.

Janet Smith, Waco

Thanks from Red Cross

As the Executive Director for the Heart of Texas chapter of the Red Cross and a fellow Texan, I deeply felt the impact of Hurricane Harvey, as I know so many of us in the Heart of Texas did as well. We can all be proud of the amazing response of this community to the call for shelter workers during this disaster.

At the Red Cross, we cannot thank you enough for your generosity and selflessness. Citizens gave their time, energy, money and compassion to welcome evacuees into our community. It was a beautiful sight to behold.

The Red Cross opens shelters at the request of the local, regional and state emergency management leaders. With the Harvey situation being so fluid, we ended up not needing most of the shelters we had prepared to open.

I know many in our community were disappointed at not being able to put their new training into action. Please know that your training and willingness to serve were not wasted. We hope you will consider becoming a volunteer with our chapter. The impact each person made by taking the time to be trained, and being ready and willing to give of their time, was so meaningful.

Our Red Cross team would also like to extend a special thank you to all the churches, agencies, and community centers who helped and/or were willing to be shelter sites for Hurricane Harvey evacuees: Texas State Technical College, Dewey Recreation Center, Crossroads Fellowship Church, The Salvation Army, YMCA, Crestview Community Center, Marathon Church, United Way, Caritas and First Assembly of God.

We are so grateful for all the outpouring of support and help. And we are proud to live and serve in the Heart of Texas!

With hope and gratitude,

Amy Grace, SPHR, CLF, Waco