Thursday, December 25, 2014

Definition of Coward: Nameless and faceless haters on the Newspaper sites

In response to the bullies and nameless on-line thugs who hate-bombed those who tried to help the children below. There is a space in hell for you.  

 December 6, 2014

DECLARATION: I, and others who helped Stephanie Randall will continue to help those in need - even if the outcome is not guaranteed. This is the only way unconditional giving can occur. 

The only thing lower than a crack head are those that get angry when their completely innocent children are helped. The same people who hide behind aliases. 

Comment on TL site:  I, like many others, led with my heart and not my head. I was 

way more worried about the children than the mother of seven . Betty's remarks reflect the 

"conflicts" all of us felt. Some of us were brave enough to give anyway. The nameless "20/20 

hindsight" cowards had a field day from their bleacher seats when this woman fell. They took 

the anger out on those who took a chance and actually helped this person and more 

importantly the kids. They, faceless and nameless, consumed an entire weekend attacking 

those that were busy helping. My name is Mark Rbbbins and I am proud to put my ame behind

 what I stand for. The "jackals" and bullies that took joy in Stefanie Randall's misery are lower

 than she is. As for me an others... we will continue to help .


We’ve been called “The Valley With A Heart.”

The truth of that is never more evident than when we learn of someone in need, whether it’s a neighbor who lost everything in a fire or someone who requires a serious operation he can’t afford.

It’s the holiday season, and those of us who’ve been blessed with happy childhoods and magical Christmases may forget sometimes that there are children among us whose Christmases aren’t so merry.

Or their lives for that matter.

Last week we learned about two such children living in Wilkes-Barre with their mother Stephanie Randall, a 39-year-old recovering drug addict.

The powerful story, written by Times Leader staff writer Bill O’Boyle, caught fire. And Clark Van Orden’s photo boldly illustrated her plight.

Randall was shown sitting on the floor of a bare apartment with her daughter Allyah, 8, and son Isaish, 9. No furniture, little food, not much of anything.

Formerly addicted to crack cocaine, Randall told O’Boyle she returned to Wilkes-Barre to escape a drug-infested environment in the Bronx, New York, to give her children a better life. She’s been clean for 12 years, she said.

After The Times Leader published her story a week ago, the Valley with a Heart came through, filling the family’s refrigerator to the brim, providing furniture, bedding, clothing and two decorated Christmas trees. And it gave her something money can’t buy, an instant outpouring of love and concern from total strangers who embraced her and her children.

Melissa Reynolds, 31, of Wyoming, said O’Boyle’s article broke her heart. She rounded up her sister and some friends who went to Randall’s apartment with a car full of donated items.

“I didn’t want them to live in an empty house. I wanted to help,” she said.

Negative reactions

Randall said students from Wilkes and Misericordia universities also came by with donations and encouraging words.

“It’s been a blessing,” she said. But in addition to the good will, she said she’s received some negative responses. That’s not entirely surprising. Actually, it’s quite understandable.

Randall said she’s scraping by on $721 per month in Social Security disability payments, $569 a month in food stamps and $151 every two weeks in welfare for her kids. She also signed up for Medical Assistance.

Some online readers questioned her assertion that she and her children, who also include a 16-year-old daughter, sometimes go without eating three meals a day when she receives $140 a week in food stamps. That’s a fair question considering that the children likely are fed some of those meals at school and that with careful planning one can prepare enough decent meals with $140 a week.

Randall says she’s proud that she’s stayed clean for 12 years. She should be. And it took courage to bare her life on the front page of a newspaper. But it doesn’t sound as though she’s done very much to help herself and her children. She has four others, ages 17 to 20. Their whereabouts weren’t revealed.

Like so many others, I was moved by Randall’s story – to a point. I was also struck by something else.

When she was photographed, she was sitting on the floor of her empty $650-a-month apartment in what appears to be a bathrobe in the middle of the day. I couldn’t help but wonder what she’s done over the past 12 years, being drug-free, to improve her situation and that of her children, who depend on her.

“Everybody makes mistakes. But I truly feel I am a better mother now,” she said.

Ms. Randall is 39 and has brought seven children into the world, children she obviously couldn’t afford to take care of and thus has depended on the government and the kindness of strangers to provide for them.

As our area has just proven, there are many good people willing to step up and help those in need.

But there’s a fine line between helping and enabling.

Without giving it a second thought, our valley with a heart and the government, with an even bigger heart, helped Stephanie Randall. Now it’s her turn. She needs to help herself and, more importantly, her children. That is her responsibility.

Public assistance was never meant to be an indefinite personal entitlement. Unfortunately, many believe it’s just that.

Betty Roccograndi is a business owner, Wyoming Valley resident and award-winning journalist. Zeroing In appears weekly.