2000-12-30 / Letters

Spirit Of Giving

Dear Editor;

For years I have been involved in bringing nutrition to the underserved and families in need living in Far Rockaway. This holiday season I am a witness to giving and philanthropy at a level never before seen in Far Rockaway.

From Cedarhurst to Breezy Point they gave with good heart, looking for that child who was part of a family whose earnings could barely meet their basic needs and making sure that local agencies, religious institutions, civic groups, schools and emergency food providers could set up programs to reach out with toys and gifts this holiday season. As one who is in touch with the hungry and families in need, through the work at the Bethel Rock and Wrap Food Program, I feel qualified to say "thank you" on their behalf, as they express their thanks to us.

The residents of Rockaway can feel proud. We are not unlike others in America where giving is at an increase. According to Reverend Fred Krammer, SJ head of Catholic charities, there is a 22 percent increase in requests for emergency assistance for general help and a 32 percent increase in requests for food assistance. Major foundations are now funding creative ways of helping the underserved. Also major corporations are working to make philanthropy an integral part of their corporate culture. Charles Schwab Corporation launched a "Corp. giving out web site" for its employees where they can select volunteer opportunities and select charities to others such as:

--Robert Woods Johnson of NJ who makes $3.7 million available to study the uninsured 42 million persons in America, which is called Surveying The Consequences of Uninsurance.

--Cindy Graham of Goodwill Industries of Indiana is overseeing a program called Help 2001 (Heating Emergency Link up Program) where 200 dollars is deposited with the gas company to prevent shut off of heat for nonpayment. Lily Endowment of Indiana will be helping 125,000 households.

As the year 2000 ends and tax time begins we wish to ask you to continue the spirit of giving and remember that there is more than enough poverty to go around.


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