EDITORIAL: Standout officer earns his title

York Dispatch
  • Wholey Homes a helping hand to area veterans.
  • Paying-off school lunch debt starts with a Tweet.

Thumbs Up: To Hellam Township Police Officer Tim Gingrich who was named Hellam Township's 2016 officer of the year in the inaugural township awards ceremony.

This guy does it all.

Hellam Township Police Officer Tim Gingrich, left, accepts his officer of the year award from Chief Doug Pollock.
(Photo courtesy of Hellam Twp. Police)

He makes loads of arrests, maintains department equipment, became its evidence custodian and nary misses an opportunity to fulfill a requested community service participation.

"We really don't know how he balances it all. He's got a lot going on," township Police Chief Doug Pollock said. "We kind of tease him about being a robot ... (but) he's a guy you can count on."

Since he makes so many arrests, many of his days find him in court during business hours and on duty for his night shift.

Chief: Hellam's first-ever officer of the year a busy guy

This type of enthusiasm on the part of law enforcement is often overlooked. We didn’t want to miss an opportunity to say “congratulations” to an outstanding police officer.

Thumbs Up: To Wholey Homes and Military and Commercial Fasteners for the home makeover the companies provided to Deb Gilbert.

Gilbert, a recently widowed veteran, rebounded from homelessness in January after a veteran’s group secured an apartment for her.

Veteran Deb Gilbert sits on her new bed with her 8-year-old dog Twix after getting four rooms in her new home remodeled Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, in York City. Gilbert, who lost her husband and her home in 2015, was able to secure housing with the help of Supportive Services for Veteran Families and the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg. Amanda J. Cain photo

That’s when Wholey Homes, an organization that provides design services for vetted single-parent and veteran families transitioning out of homelessness, got involved to spruce up Gilbert's apartment.

Wholey Homes reached out for donations and Military and Commercial Fasteners offered to collect them with its employees help.

And just like on the reality television show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” Gilbert was not present for the makeover but was pleased with the “reveal.”

Homeless vet gets 'home makeover' in new place

"The bedroom looks like it belongs in one of those decorator magazines," she said.

We need to follow the lead of Wholey Homes and make caring for our veteran’s a priority in our communities.

Thumbs Up: To the individuals nationwide who are stepping up to clear student’s school lunch debt.

The latest wave of charitable actions were spurred by a tweet by a New York writer, Ashley Ford, who appealed to her followers to do just that.

FILE - This Jan. 25, 2017 file photo shows a lunch served at J.F.K Elementary School in Kingston, N.Y., where all meals are now free under the federal Community Eligibility Provision. A donor inspired by a tweet raised money to pay off lunch debt in districts around the country, as well as thousands of dollars in overdue lunch fees at other schools in the Kingston district. (AP Photo/Mary Esch, FIle)

In just a couple of months, several thousands of dollars were donated, clearing the accounts of countless children.

Many schools provide lunch for students whose accounts are in arrears. Usually a cold cheese or peanut butter sandwich and a carton of milk, which can be charged to the account. One cafeteria worker deemed this “lunch shaming.”

No free lunch: Donors erase students’ debts

“I grew up on free and reduced-price lunches, but even that 40 cents was hard to get together with four kids. There were times I wouldn’t eat because I didn’t have money and didn’t want to be labeled as the poor kid,” said Kristina Arwood, of Evansville, Indiana. She started a campaign that raised $20,000 for lunch debt.

The problem of lunch debt exists in all districts — nationwide and in York County.

We think it’s time for York Countians to jump on this bandwagon.