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Editorial: Need goes on for others

Experts see “green shoots” in the economy. Some economists see the recession ending and a recovery starting later this year. Some say a recovery has already begun.
While those observations may be true on a national scale ó and here’s hoping they are ó the recession for many in Rowan County is as harsh today as it was three or six months ago; for some, it has even gotten worse. And we cannot forget them.
Two Post articles within the past week brought into sharp focus the continuing need to remember those for whom optimism seems an unaffordable luxury these days.
A distribution Thursday of food provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture attracted so many people, the line reached from the Salisbury Civic Center to the Post Office at Innes Street, and Altrusa Club volunteers had to tell some toward the end of the line the food might be gone when they reached the front.
After four hours, only chicken remained, and Altrusa Club member Sandy Reitz said the people in line were happy to get that.
Even as people are struggling to put dinner on the table, they’re having a hard time feeding their pets. Earlier in the week, the Humane Society of Rowan County issued a plea for pet food or money to buy food. The agency supplies needy pet owners, such as a 60-year-old man who lost his job and hasn’t been able to find another. He and his disabled wife don’t want to lose their dogs and cats, too.
Some might say people who can’t feed their pets should give them up. But in many cases, those dogs and cats are beloved members of the family, providing endless love and comfort when those things are needed most and when nothing else in the house is in great supply.
A year ago, said Jane Hartness, president of the Humane Society, the agency heard from someone every few weeks needing food for their pets. Now, it’s a few people every week, and the Humane Society’s cupboards are all but bare.
As summer wears on, more needs will arise.
The state and county are struggling to provide education funding, but when school resumes this August, many parents will struggle simply to provide the necessities for their children, such as pencils, paper and backpacks. Churches and other nonprofits have traditionally stepped in to fill the void, but this year they’re facing their own shortfalls. So they’ll need all the help they can get.
Some of us ó hopefully, a lot of us ó are seeing “green shoots” in the economy and maybe even a little growth again in our retirement plans. But our friends and neighbors continue to struggle. At the end of May, the state reported Rowan’s unemployment rate stood at 12.5 percent and, with job growth typically slow in a recovery, many won’t see the end of their struggles soon.
So if you have a little extra, consider giving. Give to your church’s benevolence fund. Give food or cash to Rowan Helping Ministries or another nonprofit helping agency or food pantry. Give pet food or money to the Humane Society. Give school supplies to an agency that will put them in the hands of parents and children who need them when school starts again.
Asking people to give may be a tough sell in what’s still a pretty crummy economy. But remember, where you see green shoots, others still see weeds. Where you see a silver lining, many still live under a dark cloud. If you have blessings, count them. And share them.

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