Editorial: Dig deep this season

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 14, 2009

The finest gifts are given, not after waiting until need has to ask, but by the man whose eye sees and whose heart feels and whose hand is stretched out even before any request is made. ó William Barclay
Waiting rooms were full to overflowing Monday at Rowan Helping Ministries and the Salvation Army ó as they have been for some time. Agencies that offer people a lifeline in times of need are still seeing record appeals for help. And they’re still seeing donations fall.
You can do something about that. Add some charities to your Christmas gift list.
The Post’s Christmas Happiness Fund is among those feeling the pinch. Giving is down nearly 20 percent so far compared to last year, and more than 40 percent from 2007. Even though the Department of Social Services stretches the donations as far as possible, it’s far from certain that all the children whose families are eligible will get help this year.
But we’re not asking you just to help Christmas Happiness. Pick your cause. Rowan Helping Ministries and the Salvation Army are seeing the effects of prolonged joblessness; they can use your help. Ditto for Main Street Mission in China Grove and Rowan Helping Ministries’ West location in Mount Ulla. The Community Care Clinic and Good Shepherd Clinic deliver health care to people who can’t afford to go to the doctor; they need help. The list goes on and on. And it’s not too late to help the United Way and its 17 member agencies with a gift.
Even if you don’t have money to spare, you may have an old coat or other clothes that one of the charities could put to good use. Coats are meant to keep people warm, not to hang in too-full closets. Sweaters are meant to ward off the chill of winter, not to fill drawers.
If the uncertain economy makes you reluctant to spend money on anything, including charity, think long and hard. You may have experienced a furlough at work or a fall in commissions. That hurts, so it’s time to be frugal. But so many Rowan Countians don’t have jobs at all and are struggling to feed their children. Winter is setting in.
Won’t you help?