Dear Editor from Karen MacCrory, Christina Belotti, Stephen Braddock, & Samuel Kaufman

Kreative Kids Counts Blessings
We want to take a minute to publicly thank the people and businesses of Marathon that have stepped up to help the children here at Kreative Kids. As a Christian based not for profit pre-school, we operate on a very tight budget while struggling to meet the needs of our children. We provide childcare for 60 children.

First, a thank you to the City of Marathon, whose help in funding non-profits shows a commitment to the community and the people they serve. One of the non-profit grants they help fund is the Grace Jones Backpack program. We have partnered with Grace Jones in striving to provide food for our neediest families. We are grateful to be a part of the backpack program and happy to be able to help feed the hungry children we watch over in this community.

We would like to thank Stilson Pest Control, Mike Cinque and Karen Dennis @ the Stuffed Pig, Annette’s, The Hurricane, Castaways, El Siboney, The Key Colony Inn, Sparky’s Landing, Cabana Breezes, Deep Drop Deli, Publix , Home Depot, Dave & Sheila @ Dave’s Island Taxi, Mandy from the Dolphin Research Center and Dr. Mike and his lovely wife Katherine from Keys Animal Hospital.

Thanks to your donations, we are able to keep these children in a safe, loving, and educational environment. What a blessing to live in such a wonderful community.
Any one willing to help in any way can stop by for a tour and list of items we could use.

The littlest thing is big when you’re small.

Thank You all for your continued support.

Karen MacCrory
Kreative Kids Day Care Academy/New Life Church


Skate Park Renovation Project Underway
The Educational Coalition for Monroe County (ECMC), Beacon Construction, Team Depot, and Keys Engineering in partnership with the City of Marathon proudly support a renovation project at the Marathon Skate Park. Professional skateboarders/skate park builders and Beacon Construction will begin construction this week. The park will be closed beginning Tuesday, September 21 for approximately two weeks. A grand reopening will be scheduled once the renovation is complete. For more information or to donate to the project, please call 305-743-6215. Donations can also be brought to the ECMC Incredible Fruit Stand Saturday MM 50 in Marathon.

Christina Belotti


To the Editor:
Have you ever done anything to hurt the homeless?

Most of us would probably answer no to this question, but the reality is that we all may have done considerable harm to those in need in the very process of trying to help them. The federal government made this mistake for decades. Well-intentioned welfare programs penalized work, undermined families, and created dependence. The government hurt the very people it was trying to help.

Unfortunately, the same is true for many who are trying to “help” the homeless today. By focusing on symptoms rather than on the underlying disease, we are often hurting the very people we are trying to help.

Homelessness is a tremendous challenge and growing problem in virtually every community across the country. While there is no easy fix, there are genuinely effective strategies and responses to help ease human suffering and lessen the negative widespread consequences this national tragedy has on our society as a whole. To accomplish this requires full and equal participation by government officials, business leaders, and faith based groups, social service organizations, law enforcement, and the citizenry.

We understand why Mayor Cates, some members of the Southernmost Homeless Assistance League (SHAL), and others, feel compelled to “do more” to address this issue by creating a day shelter. We urge all involved to proceed deliberately and thoughtfully to not unintentionally encourage the entitlement-oriented culture that permeates a significant number of the chronically homeless individuals in Key West.

While we believe very passionately that it is a moral imperative to do all that we can to provide for basic human needs of all (ie: food, hygiene, rest); we also maintain that only “tough-love” programs fundamentally change the attitude and culture of dependency.
We must always be ready to offer a “hand up” to those in need and be ever so careful that our “hand outs” do not enable rather than empower the recipients of our good will.

Our experience with countless homeless individuals has brought us to the conclusion that the majority (certainly not all) are more capable of helping themselves than some may believe, including many well intentioned advocates. It is a delicate balance between what society has to do for a person, versus what that person needs to do for his or herself.

For the past 18-years, the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition (FKOC) has been dedicated to helping homeless individuals and families heal from the underlying causes of homelessness and attain lives of personal, financial, and residential stability and self-sufficiency. FKOC’s Transitional Housing Programs for men, women, and children are based on the premise that the only real answer to overcoming and preventing homelessness begins with the acceptance of personal responsibility.

The people FKOC help in our programs are required to participate vigorously in their own improvement. This may seem harsh to some, but it’s from a very loving perspective. It’s saying, “We’re offering to walk alongside you. Please meet us half way.”

Stephen E. Braddock, Ph.D.
FKOC President & CEO

Samuel J. Kaufman, Esq.
FKOC Board Chairman


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