But wait, there's more . . . That's not all . . . If you call right now, we'll double your order . . .

We've all heard those annoying announcers and their pitches on some product that the world can probably get along just fine without.

Well friends, this time those words have deep meaning.

MUFFY, for what might be the first time in its history, is extending the annual drive through February. So there is indeed more, that's not all and yes, if you donate now you very well may be able to double your donation.

All kidding aside, this is a serious time for our local non-profits, groups that have gone through tough times the last few years. No major surprise. A lot of us have felt the impact in our paychecks and our home budgets. Economically, it's not exactly been the land of milk and honey of late.

Of course that's exactly when non-profits, those angels who help the friends and neighbors who are having a tough time, need our donations the most.

"While we saw hopeful signs of recovery during phases of this year's campaign, overall we are once again well below our goal of raising funds so desperately needed by the nearly 20 area non-profits that we support," said MUFFY Executive Director David Johnson. "By extending the campaign until the end of February, when the MUFFY Board and community volunteers meet to determine which agencies receive the campaign dollars, we are hoping to maximize the funds they have available to invest back into the community."

Make no mistake, this is all about the money we give. Yes, us. Our donations. Yours. Mine. Ours. We're all in this together. We live in a world where some people scream that the government is intruding too much into our lives. And yet it's that very same world in which some folks are willing to sit back and gladly take government handouts rather than fend for themselves. No one will argue that things are perfect. But if we truly want to take back our nation, we can't be a dependent population. We have to stand up for ourselves and one of the truest marks of that is a society that helps its own.

One thing I heard during the last few months was people wondering if the money was being used wisely. It's a fair question. The debacle with the former employee of AHEAD being arrested was brought up multiple times. Where was MUFFY on that? Again, a fair question. No one is looking to dodge responsibility. In my opinion, the issue starts with the AHEAD board, a group of good people who got a lot more than they bargained for when they volunteered to serve. The good news is that like most tough lessons in life, this will serve as a learning experience and all the non-profit boards will become better stewards of resources.

Good, bad or indifferent, none of that changes the fact that there is a huge need in Montgomery County. Simply put, the money needed for staff and programming isn't there. Yet. That, my friends is a fact. It's a fact we can ignore and let the chips fall where they may. Or it's a fact we can do something about.

Here's how it works. The agencies turn in a "request" for how much money they need. I'm not about to sit here and tell you some of them don't pad those requests a little. I don't believe any are extravagant, but they know how the game works. They request one amount and will probably get less.

Know how much the agencies said they needed to make ends meet in 2014? A bit over $500,000. Know how much we've raised so far in this MUFFY drive? Less than $400,000.

It doesn't cut it.

Here's the thing. Blame me. I was the chairman of the drive and we haven't raised enough money. Ultimately, that falls on my shoulders. But we don't have to live with my shortcomings. If enough could see fit to donate just a little, it would mean a lot. If the farmers could step up, the folks who work in our many industrial locations, the doctors and lawyers in the community . . . if each of us could just find a way to give something, it could mean everything.

But wait. There's more. Isn't there? Please? There has to be.