The recent winter storm has aggravated many of us — the sheets of ice under a coating of snow, the large mounds poorly plowed and left in the middle of Beloit city streets, just to name a few.

As we all lament the return of true winter to Wisconsin, let’s remind ourselves of those who are truly suffering and in need of help in our community.

Recently I helped a man who had been turned away from every church within walking distance of the downtown area. He had gone to each one, not asking for much — just food and access to a phone — and each one had turned him down. I am sure he had gone to businesses as well and had been turned down.

I cannot believe that this happened here, in Beloit, a community that prides itself on being caring. My heart aches. Beloit, with its active churches and community outreach programs, preaches love and welcoming with every event it holds, failed this man and many others like him.

I don’t understand how a church could turn a man away when all he was requesting was food and access to a phone — not just one, but three. The man I spoke with told me how one of these churches even asked if he were a member before turning him away.

Reader, please ask yourself what you would have done. Please ask yourself what you would want and expect from your community, what you would expect of Beloit. Would you turn away a man who asked for access to a phone? A man who asked for food because he hadn’t eaten in two days?

Emily Jolie