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Editor's View: Readers offer help to struggling single mom; goodbye Pat Fuller

By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
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My Dec. 28 column, “Single mom’s plight hits nerve,” also hit a nerve with readers. From phone calls to e-mails, my reprint of the 2008-penned online blog generated a lot of interest. Many wanted to help the young lady I mentioned. As a reporter and editor, it’s my job to be neutral. The story of the single mom who was financially struggling touched a lot of people — myself included. I have five children and couldn’t imagine being in Kerry’s shoes. One reader took offense at my column and “neutrality,” calling me cold-hearted, ignorant and selfish. Susan M. wrote, “I have been a single mom for 15 years and struggled the whole time. Times got to the worst (when) I was laid off … and lost my house. … When you met Kerry, (why) did you just interview her and let her go? Sitting in your warm office thinking of her? I would have helped her in any way I could even if it meant getting her together with a church group or whatever I could do and not just leave! You have no clue what it is like to not be able to feed your children or provide adequate shelter and not even give them a gift at Christmas. ... Shame on you for not helping and just writing about it. … I still think you are very selfish. You have a job, heat, food and a roof over your head. You are better off (than) a lot, including Kerry.” Thanks, Susan. What you fail to notice is the fact Kerry was already at an organization seeking the very help you suggested I took her away from to get her to another “church group.” More readers called to see if they could help. Many wanted to know if Kerry got the heater she needed. Yes, she did. The Twin Lakes Food Bank provided her a space heater, warm clothing and food. Bob wrote, “Did you find her a heater and some warm clothes. I am retired but I have $50 to donate toward a heater or clothing if there is a place to take or send it? I live in Orangevale and have for 37 years and we are a small town who help each other.” Christina sought to assist. She wrote, “I can help her. I don’t have a lot, but I could certainly provide some gifts, and other things she may need.” Food banks often find donations dry up after the holidays. Now is actually the time when they need donations the most. For those who want to help people like Kerry (and there are many), I recommend making a charitable donation to Twin Lakes Food Bank, 327 Montrose Drive, Folsom, CA 95630. Give them a call at (916) 985-6232. Learn more at twinlakesfoodbank.org. There is also the Food Bank of El Dorado County, 6230 Enterprise Drive, Diamond Springs, CA 95619-9395 or reach them by phone at (530) 621-9950. Learn more at foodbankedc.org. We’ve had stories on both worthy organizations in the last few editions of the Folsom and El Dorado Hills Telegraph newspapers. Goodbye, Pat Fuller The Folsom lass with a big heart, 74-year-old Pat Fuller, passed away unexpectedly on Dec. 17. Pat was a longtime ambassador with the Folsom Chamber of Commerce. She was active in the rodeo and volunteering at the chamber. I saw Pat at Folsom Live, with a smile on her face as usual. “She will be missed. We thought a great deal about her and we’re sorry to see this happen,” said chamber President and CEO Joe Gagliardi. Fuller attended Alhambra High School in Los Angeles, where she was a majorette. She was an avid bowler in the 1960s and ‘70s. She was a retired contractor with Fuller Excavating and Demolition. She became part of Folsom in 1995. Services in Folsom are slated for 11 a.m., Jan. 7, at Landmark Baptist Church, 609 Figueroa St., Folsom with a celebration of life following at 1 p.m. While many on Facebook posted remembrances and photos, I’ll simply write, “Happy trails to you, until we meet again.” Don Chaddock is the managing editor of the Telegraph. His column publishes weekly. Reach him at donc@goldcountrymedia.com or by phone at (916) 351-3753.