Join host Dominick Bonny as he highlights one local non-profit organization who is partnering with the Wenatchee School District to serve some of the most vulnerable kids in our communities. He’ll compare this noble work to what some others are doing locally to further their political agenda under the guise of “saving the children.”
Common Sense with Dominick Bonny – Small Miracles Transcript and Sources
Hello and welcome to Common Sense, I’m Dominick Bonny and in this episode we’re going to be taking a look at a local non-profit organization that partners with the Wenatchee School District’s Nutrition Services to make sure no kid goes hungry during the summer because there was a total lack of access to nutrition. Together Small Miracles and the WSD Nutrition Services feed about 500 kids during the summer on weekdays. And it takes a small army of volunteers to spread out and distribute the sack lunches in parks from Cashmere to Wenatchee, East Wenatchee and Rock Island. We’ll hear from Linda Belton, the executive director of the program, as well as a couple of those volunteers who show up and serve kids in order to make sure their basic needs are met. It’s a noble thing to do, spend some of your time serving kids, most of whom really need a nutritious meal. And the need is great. Staffing 26 locations every weekday takes a large team of volunteers. Sometimes, Linda has a hard time making sure every location is covered, but she always seems to make it work from what I can tell in my four years of watching this amazing organization at work in our community. I say all this to drive home the point that there are productive ways to serve kids in our community who actually need the help, because lately we have seen a small but vocal group of antivax, antimask zealots crop up locally to caterwaul about kids wearing masks, as if that is the most pressing issue at hand. I’m not going to spend too much time debunking the claims and positions of this small group of individuals who are making a pretty good attempt at becoming our local disinformation dozen, because for these folks facts and data don’t matter as much as their ability to parrot talking points gleaned from internet shysters hawking their debunked therapeutics and placebo supplements is only matched by their apparent inability to think critically. Just this week they had a pop-up petition signing event in Cashmere that I thought about checking out for a fleeting instant, but then I said naw, why cover a sideshow and give a microphone to willfully ignorant attention seekers? A gathering of these people at a public park is about as newsworthy as a gaggle of pigeons at that same park. However… what IS newsworthy is the fact that some of these folks organized a troll storm to invade and overtake a local health district board meeting on July nineteenth. According to one local community member who regularly attends these meetings, she was surprised to see about 140 individuals jump on a board meeting Zoom call that is usually ignored by most people. During the meeting the newcomers made it clear that they were from the unmask our kids crew, but what’s not clear is that all of them were actually local. A quick search for the hashtag #unmaskourkids on Instagram or Twitter will show anyone who’s curious enough that this unmask our kids quote “movement” is not organic. There are unmask our kids IG accounts for just about every state and a great many counties, so it’s not unreasonable to assume that the few radicals in our local unmask group coordinated with their ilk from other states via Facebook groups or more likely telegram chats to disrupt and confuse our local elected officials during an important meeting where they are making decisions on behalf of the citizens they represent. Us. And it was so disruptive that Dan Sutton, the chairman and leader of the meeting at one point apologized for not paying attention and said he was distracted by the chat thread. That was a public meeting, which means I can get the full transcript and post it in the source notes for this episode online, which I will do. But it also means that a horde of trolls, many of whom are probably not members of this community, were able to disrupt a meeting where LOCAL leaders hear and then make important decisions that affect you, me, our kids, and our families. Who cares what Joe or Jane Blow from Wichita, Kansas or Bucksnout, Iowa have to say about us here in North Central Washington? But at the end of the meeting county commissioners Sutton and Straub thanked the trolls who had invaded the Zoom call and urged them to reach out because they believe in parents’ choice over their childrens’ health. And I’m sure that was affirmation meant for the voters who elected them, and not randoms from other communities who support extremist points of view. Because I cannot believe that men of integrity like these would be so shady as to encourage others to invite random people from outside this community to join an official public meeting and bully their fellow elected officials, public health officers and local citizens. Even if they knew about a plan like that and tacitly encouraged it, that would make them unworthy of the offices they hold. I mean, that would be an indicator that they might care more about a national or political agenda than the community and citizens they were elected to serve. But is that in character for these two men who were elected to serve the community? I don’t know, I’m just asking questions! And I think I’ll keep asking questions in the coming weeks and months about this issue. But now I want to focus on a group of people who are actually working to “save the children.” They’re saving them not by throwing infantile fits about masks, but rather by putting nutritious food in their bellies on the daily. It’s a program called Small Miracles and it’s a public-private partnership between our school district and an amazing local non-profit organization headed up by a lady named Linda Belton who I admire a lot. Here’s why.
Interview segment I
Stay tuned after the break for more.
Welcome back, let’s get right back to my coverage of Small Miracles, learn more about how they do what they do and meet two of the volunteers who make the whole thing work.
Interview segment II
I want to recognize and celebrate people like Linda, Ezekiel and Mike and Carol Holliday. For 10 years now Linda and her team of mostly volunteers have been working and growing this program to serve some of the most vulnerable children in our communities, and it’s a great example of a successful public-private partnership. I think it’s important to recognize, celebrate and give our attention and support to people like Linda and Small Miracles, and it’s just as important to ignore or lampoon sideshows like the Unmask our Kids Wa people who merely want to use kids to further their political agendas. You see, our kids, my kids, are not pawns to be used in a political game. But many people treat them like that. It’s a tactic that echoes what the Q Anon movement has employed over the last few years. It’s not hard to win an argument when your side is standing up for kids and you’re making it seem like the other side wants to eat them. But it’s a morally bankrupt strategy, because nothing is that black and white. There are no pure heroes or completely evil villains. I mean there are but people who fit either of those descriptions are few and far between. What’s much more common is that we, all of us, are a little bit of both, and most of us are just doing the best we can with the time we have. So not only is using children to further your political agenda cowardly and immoral, it also reveals how little regard you actually have for children and their needs, because if you TRULY cared about them you would be involved in organizations like Small Miracles and not spending your time pestering local officials and disrupting public meetings. I have been fortunate enough to get to know Linda Belton and my own wife and kids have volunteered in the past to serve local kids lunches in the park. It’s a relatively small commitment that pays off big dividends, and it’s something you can do WITH your children that will get them started on the right path when it comes to giving back. Because it’s important to model behavior for the next generation and SHOW them how good productive adults act. That is why I want to celebrate Linda and all her volunteers and hold them up as a contrast to these unmask our kids people, because the difference is STARK. If you’d like to be a productive member of our community and get involved with Small Miracles I encourage you to do so. Their season is almost complete this year, but they will be right back at it next summer I’m sure and they can use all the help they can get. Just go to smallmiraclesncw.org and you can find more information on how to donate your time or even sponsor a location. Small Miracles and their partnership with the Wenatchee School District is the real deal and the star of the show, and the other thing is merely a sideshow being pushed on our community by a few individuals that might benefit from taking a few big breaths (which you can accomplish in a mask by the way), a good brisk hike and maybe a little sit down with a mental health professional. And I’m not saying that to be glib, I’m serious! This whole COVID debacle has brought a lot to the surface in our society and one of the things I think we can all recognize is that taking care of your mental health is incredibly important. So if you find yourself obsessing over kids wearing masks, getting angry about that and lashing out at people over it, maybe ask yourself if there’s a better use of your time and consider talking to someone who is qualified to guide you through a process of anger management and self reflection. Because it looks like masks are going to be a part of our lives for the foreseeable future, which is the obvious consequence of not enough people getting vaccinated. I’ve included some links in the show notes to mental health resources, as well as Small Miracles’ website and a few other easter eggs that you might want to check out so go to NCWLIFE.com and find Common Sense under the full episodes tab for more information. That’s all for this episode, join me next time for more Common Sense.
- Chelan Douglas Board of Health: https://bit.ly/3fmYkhJ
- Preliminary Board of Health Meeting Agenda July 19, 2021 at 3:00 pm, CDHD PDF: https://bit.ly/3yjCxic
- Small Miracles NCW: https://www.smallmiraclesncw.org/
- The Most Influential Spreader of Coronavirus Misinformation Online: https://nyti.ms/3zTNUxQ
- Whitefish Woman Testifies In Neo-Nazi ‘Troll Storm’ Lawsuit: https://bit.ly/3foS6O7
- What Is #SaveTheChildren and Why Did Facebook Block It? https://bit.ly/3A4wn6c
- How QAnon uses satanic rhetoric to set up a narrative of ‘good vs. evil’ https://bit.ly/3rOIzVz
- Mental Health Services https://bit.ly/3llK6Bh
- NAMI Washington: https://bit.ly/3xhkvMd
- A Message for the Anti-vaccine Movement, Jimmy Kimmel Live: https://youtu.be/QgpfNScEd3M