The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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November 29, 2012

Readers' Forum 11-29 | Volunteer drivers needed for cancer patients

— Right now, someone in Cambria County is wondering how he or she is going to get to a cancer treatment appointment. People with cancer have so many hurdles to overcome in order to defeat this overwhelming disease. For some, one of those hurdles is a lack of transportation to their life-saving cancer treatment. Luckily, there is something many of us can do to help.

I am a Road to Recovery volunteer driver. I help to provide free transportation to cancer-related medical appointments for people in our local communities. This is a way to give back and help our own community while offering support with a smile.

The demand for the Road to Recovery program in Cambria County is at an all-time high. Our current volunteers are so dedicated but are struggling to meet this great need.

As a volunteer, I am asking that others consider becoming a driver. It is a simple way to make a huge, positive impact on a person’s life.

In order to become a driver, an individual must have a current driver’s license, proof of auto insurance, a safe vehicle, clear a Department of Motor Vehicles criminal background check and complete a short orientation class. Drivers determine their own availability and can always turn down ride requests.

Anyone who is interested in volunteering for this program should call Emily Lloyd at the American Cancer Society, 695-9232, to learn more about this wonderful opportunity.

Lyn Garbarino

President of Volunteer Leadership Council, American Cancer Society

Special-interest groups and PACs in control

As we sit here post-elections, we are at an impasse regarding our nation’s future and its economy. These are critical and perilous times.

We, as a country, are more divided than ever and, if we don’t soon find a solution, we are destined for economic collapse.

The truth is that we are so controlled by special-interest groups and political action committees that it has paralyzed our country.

For example, on the Republican side, why is it that virtually every politician signs a pledge orchestrated by an extremist – Grover Norquist – that they will never raise taxes, under any circumstances?

Who is Norquist to command this position of authority?

By the way, this pledge is about 20 years old. Why is our country held hostage to this and other special-interest groups when deciding to raise taxes, cut spending or limit deductions?

Are we not a free country?

The bottom line is that our leaders must take control of our destiny and do what’s in the best interest for our future.

It’s time for our elected officials to come forward and lead. If the leaders in Congress, such as Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi refuse to do so, only we, as voters, can take action. Write your congressman to begin a petition to force bipartisan compromise.

The time for action is now.

John Washko


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