In my last blog, I lamented the Philadelphia Stand Down, the annual event for Veterans, being scrapped at the location for next year by government in Bucks County, PA. Today I will explain why this event is so cherished.
Volunteers, not the government, make the program great.
The volunteers at Stand Down on Saturday (I just went one day) were welcoming, helpful, friendly, and efficient. Registration went smoothly and the people setting me up were amicable.
It was one stop shopping as I went to the medical, the dental, and eye clinics. At the medical station, I told Christine about a sporadic, but chronic cough I’ve been experiencing. She said she’d set up an appointment and call me Monday. This morning, she called to tell me she had set up an appointment at the clinic in Horsham, PA.
This is the third year I attended the Philadelphia Stand Down, and for the third year, I got acupuncture.
The Won Institute, which gave the free messages and acupuncture treatments at the Philadelphia Stand Down, gives a big discount for veterans at their clinic in Glenside, PA. http://www.woninstitute.edu/index.php?page=acupuncture-clinic
There was genuine appreciation and respect for veterans. I remember at least one volunteer saying “thank you for your service.” The overall attitude showed that we vets were welcomed there and that volunteers showed their appreciation by all their hard work and effort and their time.
Helping those in need is best done by caring individuals. There are people out there who genuinely care about others, and show this by their actions.
The volunteers at Stand Down reflect the tradition of President Grover Cleveland, who believed in limited government. When farmers in many counties in Texas suffered drought in 1887, congress appropriated $10,000 for farmers to buy seed grain. President Cleveland vetoed the expenditure, saying that bailouts are unconstitutional. He instead encouraged his fellow Americans to help each other out. And they did, shelling out much more than congress demanded from taxpayers. Cleveland stated:
“I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the government, the government should not support the people. The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.”
We should follow the example of not depending on the government but helping each other. Stand Down exemplifies this tradition.
1 John 3:17 But if someone who is supposed to be a Christian has money enough to live well, and sees a brother in need, and won’t help him–how can God’s love be within him ? 1 John 3:18 Little children, let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions. 1 John 3:19 Then we will know for sure, by our actions, that we are on God’s side, and our consciences will be clear, even when we stand before the Lord.