OK, we made it through Thanksgiving Thursday, Black Friday, Sick Saturday and Cyber Monday . . . OK, I made up that Sick Saturday thing. But after everything I ate Thursday, that’s pretty much how I felt.
Today is Giving Tuesday.
According to the website www.givingtuesday.org, this is the seventh year focused on charitable contributions. The event “has become a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy with events throughout the year and a growing catalog of resources.”
Enter the Montgomery United Fund.
There are only 34 days left in this year, which means 34 days left to donate to an organization that serves 16 worthy organizations.
Look, without sounding too heavy handed here, there’s simply no other organization in Montgomery County that does as much good. That’s not a knock on churches or other fine non-profits and charities. It’s just that the United Fund in Montgomery County reaches thousands of individuals.
Like who?
• Like children who don’t routinely get hot meals
• Like women who have been battered by cowardly abusers
• Like drug addicts who are trying hard to stay clean and get a handle on life
• Like the single parent who needs a helping hand to keep things on course
• Like the troubled kid who, without a mentor, ends up on the wrong track
• Like the senior citizen who can’t get to the doctor without a ride
The list goes on.
Look, you don’t need me to tell you the statistics. There are drug issues in Montgomery County. There is a definitive child care issue in Montgomery County. There are other problems.
Again, enter Montgomery United Fund.
The organization raised more than $500,000 for the first time in the organization’s history in 1997 after Dr. John Roberts led the way as campaign chair. Nine times in 11 years Montgomery United Fund raised more than half a million dollars, ending finally after Kent Minnette led the drive to more than $507,000 in 2007.
Since then, the drive has faltered, even dipping below $400,000 just a few years ago.
Does anyone think the needs have dipped? Do we have less abuse, less hunger, fewer drug issues now than last year? Or the year before? Or the year before that?
Of course not.
Montgomery United Fund Executive Director Terry Armstrong is doing all he can. He’s made a lot of improvements in the agency. But he needs help. Without a strong drive, the United Fund won’t be able to write large checks to its member agencies to combat those issues. Without strong financial support, people who need help won’t get as much.
The vast majority of these aren’t the folks who constantly have their hand out, waiting for someone else to solve their problem. The Montgomery County United Fund does a good job of screening the organizations the money goes to. No system is perfect, but your donations are not wasted.
“I think we’re a little ahead of last year, but it’s going to be close,” Armstrong told The Paper this week. “We’ve got (organizations) who aren’t in yet.”
Armstrong did point out that the city of Crawfordsville turned in a big drive, almost topping $10,000. When asked how the county was coming he wasn’t sure yet. North Montgomery schools topped last year. There are reasons to be optimistic, but not too much. The line is that close.
Look, there are multiple ways to give. You can go online at www.muffy.org and click on a paypal button to donate. You can check with your employer. If they don’t offer payroll deduction (ask why not!), they likely know who to put you in touch with. If not, call 362-5484. Heather will be happy to walk you through how to donate. Or you can mail a donation to PO Box 247 Crawfordsville, IN 47933.
The need is great. Time is limited. Please help.
Two cents, which is about how much Timmons said his columns are worth, appears periodically on Tuesdays in The Paper. Timmons is the publisher of The Paper and can be contacted at ttimmons@thepaper24-7.com.