Dig deeper in those pockets

Published 1:22 am Tuesday, February 3, 2009

By Staff
The national and local economies are struggling.
Unemployment figures are disastrous, and consumers are curtailing their spending.
But there are still people who especially need our help. That’s why is just as important now to continue donating to such organizations as The United Way and Eagle’s Wings. Yes, most of us have less money now than we did before the recession.
And that’s a big — and in many ways, valid — reason some of us have cut back, or completely eliminated our charitable giving. But we all should dig a bit deeper and give what we can to help our neighbors, co-workers and others for whom the recession has been particularly brutal.
While the economy remains sour, many people will replace sirloin with hamburger steaks. Others will replace chicken cordon bleu with chicken fingers. And others, the most vulnerable of us, may have trouble finding enough to eat at all.
It’s easy to donate to charities when times are good, and plenty of people make those donations. But it’s when people are struggling that our charity is most needed — and has the most meaning.
Donations to charities help donors and receivers. Don’t all of us feel better about ourselves after we’ve donated to charities, especially knowing our philanthropy will help people go to bed at night fed and warm.
A year ago, we may have donated $50 to Eagle’s Wings, but given our resources this year, we may only be able to donate $20. There’s certainly no shame in that. That $20 just may provide a couple of meals for a family whose breadwinners lost their jobs.
Many of us want to be assured that our donations are used to help people who truly need it. That’s why we recommend groups like the The United Way and Eagle’s Wings. They provide such assurances.
Eagle’s Wings, the largest food pantry in Beaufort County, served 2,181 clients in 2007. Eagle’s Wings also helps clients who face eviction, having their utilities cut off or need help buying medication. Those types of clients will no doubt increase in this ailing economy. Eagle’s Wings carefully monitors its clients to make sure they need assistance the organization provides. Eagle’s Wings continually works with its clients to verify they meet requirements to receive that assistance.
That means donations benefit people who are unable to help themselves, not to people who will not help themselves.
Now, more than ever, the truly needy need us, even if it means we have to scrimp a bit more.