Columns for The Lufkin News

Changing our Focus after the Election

Posted Nov 07, 2020 by Sidney C. Roberts, MD, FACR

The 2020 election is over. We’ve made our choice for the top of the ticket and any number of other down ballot races. It may be we still don’t know the outcome of the presidential election when this column is printed. Regardless – hear me now! – life must goes on.

By life, I mean in areas like work, family, worship, and commerce, of course, but also volunteerism and philanthropy. All of these are people-driven, relationship-driven activities, or in the case of our service to others, neighbor-driven. We are learning that we can be COVID-careful and still be caring. We cannot let fear paralyze us into ignoring the needs of those around us.

Unfortunately, the recent end-of-the-world rhetoric from both sides of the aisle leading up to this election has been way over-the-top scary. One of the last Gallup polls prior to the election showed that nearly two-thirds of voters are afraid of what will happen if their candidate loses. At the same time, both parties are underwater when it comes to favorability. If the Gallup poll is correct, most of us have been not merely concerned, but downright it’s-going-to-be-the-end-of-the-world-if-we-lose afraid; yet, we don’t trust either party to be the solution.

It is time to take our gaze off the White House and look around our neighborhoods and at ourselves. We must be the solution we want to see in Angelina County. How about supporting the wonderful businesses and non-profits that serve and minister in our community? Don’t just give money (but do that, please). Volunteer!

There is no question that our ability to volunteer in person has been hampered during the pandemic. Even so, more than 200 First Baptist Church members, organized by Minister of Missions Walker McWilliams, worked throughout the community last Sunday – socially distanced and masked – in their fourth annual Love Lufkin day.

Folks, hunger hasn’t abated. In fact, during the pandemic food insecurity has gotten much worse according to those on the hunger front lines like Captains Cavon and Jenifer Phillips with the Salvation Army. Prior to COVID-19, they fed on average 100 people a day. Since the pandemic began, they are feeding 350-400 people a day, and at one point it was up to 600 a day. In addition, they have seen an exponential increase in rental assistance requests. These two saints do phenomenal work and would love to have your volunteer help and financial support. You can donate online at https://www.salvationarmytexas... or sign up to ring a bell during their Red Kettle Campaign at www.registertoring.com.

Another local saint that can use all the help she can get is Yulonda Richard at the Christian Information and Service Center (CISC). Prior to the pandemic, CISC was seeing an average of 17,000 people per month. Since March, her mostly elderly volunteer base has had to stay home for their own safety. CISC is only able to be open three days a week now. They are still helping around 7,400 people a month and making deliveries as far away as Zavalla to those who have no other way to get food. And they continue their back-pack buddy program which provides weekend rations for school children all over the district. Yulonda told me, “It takes a village to raise a child but it truly takes the love and kindness of Angelina County to help our neighbors in their hour of need.” Thank her by mailing a check to CISC at 501 S. Angelina St, Lufkin, Texas, 75904.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, let’s not forget the wonderful legacy of the late Rev. Bettie Kennedy and the Community Food Drive, so ably run each year by Bruce Love. In years past, they have distributed 2,000 Thanksgiving meal boxes to families in need. Even with COVID-19 affecting volunteer participation opportunities and logistics, Bruce still plans to distribute 1,000 Thanksgiving meal boxes this year. Send Bruce a Thanksgiving-sized check to Community Food Drive, 1508 S. First St, Lufkin, Texas, 75901.

I still remember as a child reading Corrie ten Boom’s biography, The Hiding Place. Her family’s story of sacrificing their safety (and for some, their lives) to hide Jews during the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands was profoundly inspiring. At great risk and despite constant fear, they practiced love.

Still afraid of what the election results may bring? Let’s stop wringing our own hands and start holding the hands of those around us. The peace that comes with helping others can heal any troubled soul. That is a choice we can all vote for!

Your First Visit

What to expect on your first consultation

Get Started >

Centers

Learn about the Temple Cancer Center at CHI St. Luke’s Health Memorial

See Our Center >

Radiation Therapy

Find answers to common questions about radiation therapy

View the FAQ >

Meet Our Team

Sidney C. Roberts, MD, FACR

Sidney C. Roberts, MD, FACR

Radiation Oncologist

Madelene Collier, RN, OCN

Madelene Collier, RN, OCN

Radiation Oncology Nurse

Brittany Raines, RN

Brittany Raines, RN

Radiation Oncology Nurse

Jewel Randle, RT (R)(T)

Jewel Randle, RT (R)(T)

Lead Radiation Therapist

Aimee Salas, RT (T)

Aimee Salas, RT (T)

Radiation Therapist

Josh Yarbrough, RT (R)(CT)(T)

Josh Yarbrough, RT (R)(CT)(T)

Radiation Therapist

Julie McClain, RT (R)(T)

Julie McClain, RT (R)(T)

Dosimetrist

Linda Miller, MS

Linda Miller, MS

Medical Radiation Physicist

Sharon Hadnot

Sharon Hadnot

Support Specialist

Evelyn Leach

Evelyn Leach

Receptionist