There is something about the human spirit that compels many of us to help those in need.
Sometimes we need a terrible tragedy to get motivated. The horrific images and stories coming out of New York and New Jersey have spurred many of us to donate.
Whether it's giving money to the American Red Cross or the many dozens of people locally who are collecting goods and shuttling them up north, there are countless examples of our neighbors stepping up to help.
Maybe it's because many of you have lived through past hurricane damage here. You know first-hand what it's like. It makes me proud to live in the same community with such selfless people.
But I also want to remind you that there is also great need here. We should continue to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy in any way we can. But there are also many wonderful local organizations raising funds and collecting goods to help those less fortunate living among us.
As we move into the holiday season, I encourage each of you to find a way to help those in need in our communities too.
That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at email@example.com.
Emailed comments from viewers:
In response to the recent airing of your My Turn, Your Turn
piece: Giving back to local charities, I would like to submit a response
on behalf of our local American Red Cross - Cape Fear Chapter.
It is true that in the aftermath of a large scale disaster,
many contributions flow through the American Red Cross in support of relief
efforts and the direct assistance we provide to disaster victims. The Red Cross
is, after all, the leading non-profit relief organization in the country and
mandated by Congressional Charter to provide disaster relief, though we don't
receive federal funding to fulfill that mission. We should remember that
it is not a matter of if, but when, those same resources that are being
mobilized for the folks in the northeast will be mobilized once again for a
devastating disaster -- such as a hurricane -- on our own shores here in North
Carolina, and America will rally to support us too.
It is equally important to understand that here at home in
the Cape Fear area, our local Red Cross chapter also needs donations in support
of the vital programs and services we provide in Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin,
New Hanover and Pender counties. We too are a local charity. We
support more than 550 area blood drives each year, facilitate emergency
communications services to hundreds of locally based military members and their
families, train thousands of community members in lifesaving skills such as CPR
and first aid, and provide relief to our neighbors that lose everything to a
home fire or other local disaster. For us, the holiday season is a time
to raise funds to support this critical work that enables us to meet needs in
our own backyard. It also a time when we see blood shortages, and
increased home fires.
Since Sandy made landfall in late October, many of our
dedicated volunteers have been hard at work answering calls at our local
chapter from hundreds of community members each day wanting to know how they
can help to support relief efforts in the Northeast. The majority of
those callers are looking to donate canned goods, clothing, and household items
that the Red Cross does not take. So we have been redirecting these
well-meaning folks to other non-profit organizations in the community,
providing them with referrals to the United Way 2-1-1 call center, Salvation
Army, Vintage Values, Goodwill, Southeastern Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity,
WARM, and countless other charities that can put these items to work right here
at home. That is part of being a team player in a network of local
charities that are all working to benefit the greater good.
Lastly, I leave you with one more reminder of one of the wonderful things about the Red Cross…. we always honor donor intent. So, if donors make a contribution that they intend for Sandy Relief, that is how the funds will be spent. If donors make a donation in support of local programs and services, that is how the funds will be spent. 91 cents of every dollar donated directly supports American Red Cross programs and services, due in large part to the fact that more than 97 percent of our workforce are dedicated and trained volunteers. And, the American Red Cross – down the street, across the country, and around the world – could not do all that we do without the generous support of our volunteers and donors.
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