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Time has come to double-down in helping others

We Americans are renowned for our compassionate generosity. When we learn of a need, we rush to fill it. It is time to double-down on that attitude of helping others.

Throughout the nation, tens of thousands of non-profit organizations — some big national ones, others strictly local — are relief upon by many of our neighbors, friends, co-workers and even family members for certain services. Think of a need, and a charitable group strives to take care of it.

Soup kitchens for the homeless, shelter for abused spouses and children, medical treatment for those who cannot afford it, specialized help for disabled children and adults … the ways non-profits help are endless. So is the number of people who rely on them.

Non-profits depend primarily on two sources of revenue: investments set up with large gifts and smaller, yet critical, day-to-day donations.

We all know what has occurred in the stock markets, where many charitable organizations have their reserve funds invested. Just as losses in your 401K plan have hit you hard, so have diminished endowments on which many non-profits rely.

And as many Americans worry about their own financial futures, contributions to the non-profits are dwindling.

We will get through this. That is beyond doubt. Some of us may have to postpone retirement for a few years. Others may need to put off that new car or that vacation for which we have been saving for years. But we’ll get by.

Those in charge of some non-profit organizations face grimmer prospects. Some may not be able to survive. Others will have to slash services drastically, knowing the impact that will have on those they serve.

We’re Americans. We don’t let that happen. Think about that during the next few years — for that is how long it will take for some non-profits to recover — and do something about it.

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