10/24/12 — Here at home: In times of acute need, community always pulls together

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Here at home: In times of acute need, community always pulls together

Who knows what the holiday season will bring for local shoppers, charities and businesses.

There have been more than a few predictions of increased sales, with other analysts saying that shoppers will pull back a bit as they make plans for holiday spending and struggle with the current economic conditions.

But no matter what the experts say, there is no question that people are thinking harder before they drop a dollar -- and with continuing trouble with wages, gas prices and other costs of living, they might be more frugal than in years past, or at least more value conscious.

And while that will be good in one way -- shoppers will look to save gas and dollars by shopping closer to home, which will boost the local economy and mean a healthier business climate here in Wayne County -- there is a challenge in another.

Tougher economic times and dollars that buy less will mean that there will not be as much disposable income to play with for local families. With fewer dollars floating around this season, another important part of Wayne County will suffer -- local charities.

Many of the organizations that help the needy are seeing an increasing demand for their services. They are faced with new clientele -- people who in the past would have been donating, who are now in need of help themselves.

So the need will be greater and the pool of potential donors more limited.

And that could mean many needy families might not have a place to turn.

As you make your plans for the holiday season, consider budgeting in support for the charities that make it possible for local families to have food on their table and heat in their homes. Consider making buying a gift for a needy child a part of your family's holiday tradition. Or, be part of one of the efforts to collect donations for local organizations that provide holiday meals for those who have nowhere else to go.

There will be many who will need help this holiday season -- and beyond.

And there are lots of local organizations who are meeting those needs every day with dedicated volunteers and limited resources.

All they need from us is a little support now as they try to weather the tough times, too.

And if this county acts as it usually does -- with generosity and good will -- that should not be a problem.

Published in Editorials on October 24, 2012 11:15 AM