I was dismayed to read of the closing of the Calvary Episcopal Church Day School. I am sure the justifications given for closing the school were valid (increased costs, reduced enrollment, etc.); however, I would like to think that anyone in the chain of decision- making could see the impact the closure would have on the population the school served.

What alternatives are available for these families? I support any successful program that allows parents to work while providing a safe, constructive and educational environment for children. Did Calvary School not provide that to its neighborhood for many years? Are we not seeing the value of a solid foundation early in their academic life? From what I read, Calvary provided that for its students.

I do not, as they say, “have a dog in this hunt” as I do not have a child enrolled there, nor a school age child at all. However, I would like to see the best utilization of my tax dollars toward a positive social program that looks to be more of an investment in our citizens and our children.

I realize that the many pots of money available to state and local programs never cross paths. But funding, for example, of a shuttle service to be used by tourists and visitors seems so extravagantly and extraneously wasteful compared to the benefits of supporting a local educational program. It would be overly simplistic to have a politician declare one program was being suspended in favor of another, but if that were to happen, in that one moment, that official would get my greatest respect and my vote.

STEPHEN STOTT

Savage Street

Charleston

A child receives a box of Lego blocks (no assembly instructions included). Using God-given talents, the child creates a magnificent structure that wins first prize in a Lego-sponsored competition.

Do the parents of the child mention that the accomplishment was made possible because of the manufacturer of Lego blocks, the truck that delivered the item and the store that sold the merchandise?

VIC LATVIS

Andover Way

Mount Pleasant

I read with interest a recent letter to the editor about Social Security having pronounced the writer dead while she was on vacation. I’m sure the ordeal she experienced because of this error continues as I write this.

I had a similar, but less harrowing, experience a year ago. When my stepmother moved to Mount Pleasant, I helped her change her address from North Carolina to South Carolina. Because of this change, Social Security stripped her of her citizenship and reduced her benefits by two-thirds. This occurred without any notification, just a significant drop in her monthly income. It was a challenge just finding out what had happened, and it took several months to get her benefits reinstated.

I’m sorry to write that several days ago, after another address change, we were notified that my stepmother would again lose two-thirds of her benefits. After several hours on the phone, I found out that she was stripped of her citizenship a second time. Tomorrow I will begin to correct this financially and emotionally costly mistake.

And what about all the other people who rely on their Social Security checks to pay their bills and get through the month? Are they able to help themselves? Do they have people to help them if they can’t?

The forms that Social Security requires to be filled out by a caregiver trying to help are a significant obstacle. I suggest that all who receive Social Security benefits prepare for the day when they might need help from someone. Get started on those forms.

PAM TISDALE

Heron Avenue

Mount Pleasant

With all the discouraging things that people do to each other every day, it’s nice to know that there are people out there who do amazing things.

Every year, I shop for discounted items for the shoe box packing party for Operation Christmas Child held at Christ Our King Church, funded by the Knights of Columbus and the parishioners. With great school supply sales, it was difficult to stay within my budget.

I was at the Wal-mart in Wando Shopping Center picking up my order of 1,600 crayons. I couldn’t resist the additional sales for school items, filled my cart, and prayed for more money to help pay for these items.

At the checkout, I caught the eye of a gentleman staring at my mountain of crayons.

“I just like to color,” I said. But then I told him it was for a charity, Operation Christmas Child.

A few minutes later he asked how much I thought the crayons would cost. To my amazement, he offered to pay. When I asked why he would do this, he replied that his daughter liked these particular crayons. His eyes filled with tears. It was also his birthday.

He wouldn’t give me his name, and I can’t express the feeling it gave me. But it reminded me of one thing that children say when they receive these shoe boxes: “Why would someone who doesn’t even know me do this for me?”

Why indeed? Because of this man’s generosity, many more children who live in desperate situations will come to know God through the power of a simple shoe box.

May he be richly rewarded.

KATHY RAVEN

Cain Street

Mount Pleasant

As a native Charlestonian residing in Washington, D.C., I was very disappointed when I recently returned to visit my family to see that the horse carriage industry is still flourishing, even during the summer with dangerous temperatures and extreme humidity.

My mother and I were downtown and noticed that the temperature was up to 101 degrees, according to her car thermometer. At the same time, we saw a carriage in front of the Gibbes Art Gallery, which was loaded with 10 tourists, so we engaged in conversation with the driver of the carriage. The driver was incredibly rude when we questioned whether it was a good idea to have the horse pulling a full carriage in the summer heat and tried to tell us that the temperature was not that high.

As an adolescent in Charleston, I spent my summers melting in the heat on King Street and in the Market, selling Italian ice for a few bucks a cup. Even though I made minimum wage, I was guaranteed lots of tips from the tourists about to embark on their horse carriage tours.

I often thought that I must quit my job because I was only playing into this treatment of horses. However, I decided to stick with it for many summers to ask tourists to choose another way to see the city.

Recently in New York City, Oreo, a carriage horse, frantically bolted through the streets after crashing into a limo. The frightened horse ran four blocks and crashed into a parked car before he was captured. The horse experienced extreme terror, and two passengers were taken to the hospital.

It is time to ban horse carriages in Charleston, New York City and every city for that matter.

ROSALYN MORRISON

Legislative assistant

Animal Welfare Institute

Pennsylvania Avenue SE

Washington, D.C.

I attended the 2012 Charleston Food + Wine Festival with my husband and two friends. We had a wonderful time. We watched the food demonstrations at the park, bought all kinds of items for sale by park vendors and purchased a perimeter pass to check out all the vendors in the large tent. We had a ball and were so looking forward to the festival this year. So when I visited the Food + Wine Festival website I was devastated to learn that the perimeter pass is not available for the 2013 festival. That pass was $25 last year, and the only thing available in 2013 for the vendor tents is an $85 pass on Friday and a $100 pass on Saturday.

In looking the program over I learned that the lowest priced item for the entire event is $40 for a breakfast. I don’t think that in these economically stressed times the organizers are being realistic.

Maybe it will be a sellout again this year, but these prices take a lot of people out of the attendee pool. What a disappointment!

LILLIAN MELVIN

Trumpet Wood Trail

Simpsonville

The one thing that I-526 proponents have in common is a self-centered perspective. They ignore the facts and insist that their driving convenience trumps every other concern. And still they produce no credible evidence that 526 would shorten commute times.

They ignore the fact that such solutions have had the opposite effect on other cities in America.

GARY BROWN

Ruby Drive

Mount Pleasant