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Letters to the editor for Sept 14, 2020

Letters to the editor for Sept 14, 2020

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Support Change for Change

You may wonder what the lime green meters that suddenly have popped up around downtown and in Boonsboro are about.

They look like parking meters, but they’re not, or at least not any longer — they’ve been decommissioned and repurposed into what are now called “caring meters.”

Peggy Nolley found them on a trip to Canada and loved them so much I’ve been fortunate to partner with her for the past year, with the indispensable help of so many wonderful folks in the city, to bring them to Lynchburg. The list is long but Bonnie Svrcek, Tom Martin, Dave Malewitz, Gaynelle Hart, Clay Simmons, Steve Bailey, Chip Brooks, builder John Vincent, Cri Digital Impressions and artist Steven Kissel deserve special thanks.

The meters are asking you to deposit in them whatever spare change you have laying around, on dresser tops, in your car.

What we collect in the eight meters that are out will be distributed quarterly to local agencies who are helping those in need in our community.

The poverty rate in our city is too high already, and with the pandemic on top of it, the needs continue to grow and agency budgets are stretched. So this is a way for anyone and everyone, especially when you may not be able to be a big donor, to make a difference and help relieve the burdens of many of our fellow citizens.

We think of it as a teaching opportunity for parents too — bring your children to a meter with change they’ve collected to help those who may not have what they have.

Most importantly, what will enable us we hope to make an even more significant difference is five local businesses generously have signed on to match in varying degrees what we collect in the meters, and we are deeply grateful to them for joining with us in this uncharted and somewhat crazy new venture! They are Bank of the James, Schewel Home, BB&T/Truist/Scott & Stringfellow, N.B. Handy and Captrust.

And lastly, but very importantly, is Bill Bodine, president and CEO of the Greater Lynchburg Community Trust, who has agreed to be our fiscal agent and partner, and we will treasure his advice and guidance every step along the way. With his help, we will pull together a diverse community group to select the agencies each quarter to receive our funds.

So now here’s hoping this generous and caring community will step up with their change!

In a time when good news stories are hard to come by, we’d like to think this might be one of them.

LIBBY FITZGERALD

Lynchburg

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