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This Year's Love

Oct 11, 2012 08:26PM ● Published by Anonymous

What should have been a 5-minute errand took closer to 30 minutes. The drop off line behind the Goodwill was five cars deep. Turns out we weren’t the only ones with the idea to clean out our closets on our day off.

This says something about our area. We are a community that takes care of itself. In our area, we use our Saturday nights to benefit sailing programs, kids in need, and community enrichment rather than spending all our money on bar tabs and blockbuster movies. It’s just what we do around these parts.

Our efforts are paying off, too. The Anne Arundel Food Bank reported that in 2011 they served more than 425,000 meals to the homeless through their soup kitchens, and distributed over 65,000 bags of food to over 110,000 people. Hospice of the Chesapeake managed to give almost $850,000 in financial support to help individuals pay for medical services, helping 2,280 hospice patients receive care. This means that every time you drop off a few canned goods or stick a dollar in a jar, it actually goes somewhere other than a greedy person’s pocket. You can’t say that everywhere.

I spent some time down at the EYC BoatShow Bash on Saturday night and was thrilled to meet Rebecca Tingle, Director of CASA Anne Arundel County. If you don’t know about CASA, you should. They work with judges in appointing volunteers to work with foster children to make sure the child’s needs are met regularly. Rebecca told me quite a few astonishing things, but perhaps nothing more astonishing than the fact that of the 160 children currently in Anne Arundel County foster care homes, CASA has volunteers working with 122 of them. That means that 76% of the kids in foster homes in Anne Arundel County have a volunteer showing up and checking in, not letting them slip through the cracks. It’s not a perfect number, but it’s an incredibly good one.

We’re just two weeks away from Halloween and that is always the turning point, when everything seems to redirect itself toward holiday madness. There are cookies and pies to be baked, trees to be decorated, and The Perfect Present to be found. But this holiday season, it’s worth it to take some time and look into the different non-profits in your area and find one that’s right for your time and/or money. You can make it as simple as using PayPal to send your regular latte budget to help the homeless, or you can donate your time to a needy cause. You can even attend a fancy fundraiser and hobnob with the rest of Annapolis’ elite charity givers. Because there’s nothing wrong with a fundraiser featuring an open bar and heavy hors d’oeuvres

Whatever your plan is, do something this season to give back to your community. Take the time to look into all the amazing ways to give. Even if it’s just a little, when it’s in the right hands, it goes a long way. There’s that saying “It takes a village to raise a child,” and in Annapolis we can say that we are that village. We’re doing it together.

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