Neighbor Aid: Be part of the local safety net | In Our Opinion

Many of our neighbors, particularly those who were forced to start over during the recession, are struggling to make ends meet. As many of us know, all it takes is an unforeseen circumstance to turn our fortunes into dust. We are all vulnerable. But when we have each other’s backs, we build a safety net and make each other stronger. That’s why it’s important to give to ShareNet’s Neighbor Aid campaign. No matter the size of the donation, you’ll make a big difference in someone’s life — possibly someone you know.

  • Friday, November 18, 2016 9:36am
  • Opinion

Many of our neighbors, particularly those who were forced to start over during the recession, are struggling to make ends meet. As many of us know, all it takes is an unforeseen circumstance to turn our fortunes into dust. We are all vulnerable. But when we have each other’s backs, we build a safety net and make each other stronger. That’s why it’s important to give to ShareNet’s Neighbor Aid campaign. No matter the size of the donation, you’ll make a big difference in someone’s life — possibly someone you know.

“If we could have but one generation of properly born, trained, educated, and healthy children, a thousand other problems of government would vanish.” — Herbert Hoover, 31st president, 1929–1933

By most accounts, the economy continues to improve since we emerged from the post-Great Recession recovery period (or have we?).

The jobless rate in Kitsap County was 5.9 percent in August — down from a high of 8.4 percent in August 2011. Of a labor force of 117,391 in August this year, 110,450 were employed.

But that also means 6,941 of our neighbors are unemployed. And as the economy has improved, rents and real estate costs have gone up; there are waiting lists for affordable housing.

Many of our neighbors, particularly those who were forced to start over during the recession, are struggling to make ends meet. As many of us know, all it takes is an unforeseen circumstance to turn our fortunes into dust. We are all vulnerable. But when we have each other’s backs, we build a safety net and make each other stronger.

That’s why it’s important to give to ShareNet’s Neighbor Aid campaign (ShareNetFoodBank.org). No matter the size of the donation, you’ll make a big difference in someone’s life — possibly someone you know.

Each year, ShareNet distributes more than 280,000 pounds of food and spends at least $30,000 to help local residents stay in their homes and keep their utilities from being shut off.

ShareNet provides weekend take-home food for at least 80 schoolchildren, and ensures that children get proper nutrition during summer.

ShareNet provides Thanksgiving meals to more than 700 individuals, provides Christmas gifts to more than 120 children, and provides back-to-school necessities to more than 170 children.

ShareNet has kicked off Neighbor Aid 2016, the annual fundraiser which supports ShareNet’s services. When you contribute to ShareNet — whether it’s a can of food or a few dollars — you make a difference in the lives of others.

“You won’t know the name of the person or family you helped, but you might pass them on the street one day — someone able to smile again from the support you and ShareNet provided, someone with one less overwhelming concern that month,” executive director Mark Ince wrote during a previous campaign. “You won’t know their name, but that help will have reached them just the same, with incredible speed and right in your own backyard. You haven’t just made a donation, you’ve made a difference.”

The record raised in 2011 — $73,846 — still stands. Let’s try to match that amount so that (paraphrasing New York Gov. Mario Cuomo in 1984) our community moves ahead with “the whole family aboard.”

The more people we have with us, the stronger our family.

ShareNet is a nonprofit organization, so all contributions are tax-deductible. ShareNet is located at 26061 United Road, Kingston. The mailing address is P.O.Box 250, Kingston, WA 98346. Call Mark Ince or Barbara Brumagin, 360-297-2266.

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