10/19/08 — Crises among us: A united community can ease so much adversity

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Crises among us: A united community can ease so much adversity

Looking at your bank balance -- and your retirement account -- couldn't have been easy this past week -- or the week before that for that matter.

In fact, watching the market shoot up, then down, then up, then down, is enough to make anyone want to pull everything out and put it under his or her mattress.

So hearing yet another pitch to help yet another local organization raise money is probably the last thing you want to read this Sunday.

After all, you might be thinking that, save a little creative budget balancing yourself, you, too, could count yourself among those in Wayne County who need assistance.

But that is why, more than ever, organizations like the United Way -- and later this year, our Empty Stocking Fund and The Salvation Army's Kettle Drive -- need your assistance.

More than ever there will be Wayne County seniors who will have to decide between eating and medicine and others who will have no way to get a warm meal once a day and a little bit of company without you.

There will be children with nowhere to turn after school because the place they call their home away from home has to cut back hours to keep its doors open.

Programs designed to help those who are facing serious health issues -- or who need help building their lives back after battling emotional or physical abuse -- will have to turn away those who need them because the funds just aren't there.

And someone waiting for blood or a family trying to get their lives together after a storm or a fire destroyed their home might have to worry a little bit longer about the next step.

And those are just the day-to-day realities that many of the United Way and other agencies deal with in Wayne County. The holidays are coming soon.

There also will be families for whom Christmas is just another hungry day and children who cry themselves to sleep because Santa Claus forgot to come this year.

That is what happens when the economy hits a sour note. More people need help and those who have are expected to share with those who have not.

So maybe your budget is a little tighter this year. Perhaps you are not sure if you can have the kind of holiday season you have been able to manage in the past.

Maybe you aren't sure you want to give to the United Way or that you can give as much as you usually do. Or maybe you don't feel you can ask your employees to give this year.

But we need you -- and so do they, your neighbors, friends and family.

Now is the time to dig deep, stand strong and to open your hearts and be brave and giving -- even when it is not easy.

There are a few weeks left of the United Way's 2008 campaign -- plenty of time to dig in and get those pledge cards signed and the paperwork turned in.

Plenty of time to make sure Wayne County's families can count on us another year.

Let's start the holiday season off by reminding ourselves about the spirit, the courage and the faith that keep us going and make us strong.

It will make all of our holiday seasons a little brighter -- and more meaningful.

Published in Editorials on October 19, 2008 12:01 AM