You have no doubt heard the quote, "charity begins at home."
Loosely, this means take care of your house before that of your neighbor. During the season of giving, I am going to ask your readers to do just that. Please keep your seasonal and yearly donation dollars local this holiday season.
Instead of sending your donation dollars out of Columbiana County or out of Ohio, please check to see if there is a local charity that serves your desired "cause" instead of sending funds to a national or worldwide organization, when possible. Most local organizations, like the one in which I am actively involved, the Humane Society of Columbiana County, cannot afford glitzy advertising campaigns and television commercials.
So far, in 2011, we have conducted over two fund-raising activities per week.. A handful of volunteers and staff raised tens of thousands of dollars in addition to participating in the daily care and exercise of the animals, adoption activity, fielding phone calls, building and yard maintenance and outreach. Humane cases have numbered nearly 30 per month and over 100 formerly abused, neglected or unwanted pets are now in forever homes. Thousands of miles have been driven to investigate concerns of cruelty and neglect and to conduct home visits prior to adoption. Requests for action increase yearly while giving remains constant or worse, declines. I am certain, other local charities and 501(c)3 non-profit organizations can say the same.
Please, I ask you to do your homework, seek out a legitimate organization and begin your charity at home this year. Lend a helping hand to those causes in your own back yard ... in your own community during this season of giving. Your neighbors and friends are working very hard to "Make Hope Happen" right here in Columbiana County.
Jenny R. Pike