To The Editor:
This is a short note to praise the work of one crew from the Cleveland Public Works Department.
I awoke Monday morning to find that a large tree had fallen onto the edge of my front yard and was blocking half of 8th Street N.W.
I called Public Works to report the problem at 8 a.m. In 10 minutes, a crew arrived and within the hour the downed tree was removed, the street was clear and they had removed all the limbs and leaves.
This crew was very professional, worked quickly in pouring rain and did an excellent job.
Well done, Public Works!
— Ken Kirkpatrick
rely on child
To The Editor:
The purpose of this [letter] is to draw attention and awareness to something that is kept much too silent in our community of Bradley County — unpaid child support!
I have been a resident of Cleveland and Bradley County since 1992. In working with many churches and prayer groups, I find the most frequent requests are prayers for our federal and local government officials, then for our churches and spiritual leaders.
Often, these prayer groups then hear and follow the requests in this order to pray for our schools, families and abused children. Then last, but not least, the heartbreaking request that too often seems to be shared through tears and often with anguish, is that from a single, divorced or deserted working parent asking, “Will you pray for me? I can’t get my child support.”
I so often hear these words that will come forth out of desperation from some hard-working parent, “I am working a full-time job and am looking for a part-time job to take care of my kids.”
I know of cases where the court would rule for a parent to pay child support and seemingly the parent would rather give their money to an attorney just to keep from paying their child support.
I had a young man to tell my wife and me one time, “I like having a family, but I don’t like the responsibility.”
This seems to be a painful cry, not only locally but across our nation! In many of these cases, I hear these words, “I have been to court time and time again and nothing seems to get accomplished.”
This so often results in children being left alone after school and sometimes until the late evening while a single parent is trying to do their best to provide for the children. I have talked to single parents who have cried themselves to sleep and sometimes are not able to sleep at all because of feeling that the court system has failed to implement and enforce their own rulings for child support.
I have listened and witnessed to the heart-crushing cries of single working parents right here in Bradley County who have had so very little to feed their children. These are people who feel like they are being stripped of all self-dignity and some have told me, “I hate to ask for help because it seems like I am begging.”
I spoke to a single working parent whose children for one complete week had only cold cereal to eat for supper. You may say they can get government assistance. I have talked to those who have been denied food stamps and those who have been denied TennCare.
I know of a case right now concerning child support where a judge has left the papers sitting for approximately four months without signing his own ruling.
While many are enjoying their evenings and weekends with their families (which we should), there are those numbered among the single parents who are having to leave their children either alone or with a sitter while they are trying to be both mother and father.
I spoke to one lady who told me the court ruled that the father, as well as paying child support, was to pay for the children’s insurance — and he had failed to do either. This same mother also told me that she had been denied TennCare. This also was a working single parent.
I want this [letter] to be a voice of awareness of some of the sufferings that are associated with what seems to be the failure of effectively carrying out child support rulings. While the challenge of decision-making rests upon our Bradley County judges, the responsibility of praying for the judges rests upon the citizens of the community.
What is the painkiller for those who are coping with the challenges of being a single parent?
First, as a Christian I would have to say that it is faith and trust in God.
Jesus said in Mark 9:23, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”
Never stop believing!
True love is always a painkiller for a broken and lonely heart!
“Love never fails.”
Bradley County residents, let us pray for our judges even if you think that you have been treated unjustly.
Let us take to our heart this painful and troublesome plague of parents not wanting to pay their child support.
Let us be prayerfully awakened and aware of the inward pain of the single working parent that is associated with the undisciplined nonpaying parent.
Let us prayerfully be aware of the need for our local judicial system to see to it that the rulings that they made are effectively carried out.
I make a plea to the local Christian community and to the Bradley County residents to let us take this as a prayerful assignment.
Let us show the single parents and the children of those homes we care!
We say to you, there is hope!
— Jesse Wiseman