Brother, can you spare a dime?
September 18, 2013 —
Let’s face it—times are tough.
Even though there has been an upswing in recent months, the economy of the nation as a whole is still troubled, and many of us struggle to make ends meet. Tens of thousands are unemployed, while others work more than one job in order to put food on the table. With winter on the horizon, heating bills loom, along with a need to clothe the kids and stoke the fire, while juggling the bills. While many of these issues hit home, life in the Upper Delaware Valley continues to inspire, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to lend my support to good causes for others less fortunate than myself.
As I travel the countryside, one word constantly comes to mind: community. After college, I struck out on my own, determined to make my mark on the world, seeking fame and fortune and giving little thought to others, believing that the ills of the world were someone else’s problem and that (no matter what I heard) one person could not actually make a difference. I found a tiny bit of fame along the way, and what little fortune I accumulated slipped through my fingers as quickly as it came. Depressed and dejected, I reexamined my priorities, packed it in and made my way back home, where the heart is.
Almost immediately, I was humbled by the outpouring of community spirit that abounds here in the region. Observing neighbors helping neighbors, with a generosity of spirit that I had never witnessed before, it wasn’t long before I felt the need to be an active member, and sought ways that I could participate. Since money is often scarce, volunteerism seemed like a good idea, and (being less selfish than in my youth,) I decided to donate what I could—time. September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and last year I chose to join the fight by standing in solidarity with the kids and shave my head during the local St. Baldrick’s “Line of Hope/Conga against Cancer across America” that Eldred’s Lou Monteleone organizes every fall. Monteleone toils all year long to help others and his yearly events (www.stbaldricks.org/conga) raise thousands of dollars to help eradicate childhood cancer in our lifetime. The expression “bald is beautiful” comes to mind, but I allowed my (still selfish) vanity to prevail this year and sponsored others, seeking a way to contribute and still keep my hair. Although the Line of Hope has already taken place, it’s never too late to make a contribution, and one can contact Lou at 845/557-3321. Every dime helps.