My wife and I found the recent issue of Wednesday Journal [Jan. 9] particularly engaging. We were reminded with several articles of life’s challenges — how we cope and help others.

We were pleased to see that the Oak Park Arms has converted unused space into a day care center for area elderly socialization and food service with staff availability as needed. We were saddened by the loss to violence in the city of one of our OPRF High School graduates but encouraged to see so many citizens interested in youth welfare by offering to serve on the high school board. We appreciated Galen Gockel’s views on mental health and his concerns about stigmatization [Stop stigmatizing illnesses of the mind, Viewpoints]. The most inspiring story was on Rev. Julie Harley’s life since she was diagnosed with ALS [Finding strength in vulnerability, LifeLines].

Reflecting on these stories of service, loss and inspirational coping, we again appreciate Oak Park’s public commitment through its Township to supporting the services in these areas of human need — Senior Services helping our older citizens remain independent; Youth Services intervening to assist at-risk youth in better decision-making; the Community Mental Health Board funding many services, especially anti-stigma efforts; and several Township services that assist persons with disabilities.

Thank you for reporting on these stories of challenge, coping and service.

Mena and David Boulanger

Oak Park

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