Darn it. When I read the Northfield News story this week on charity scams, I cringed. This is just going to make it harder for the good guys.
And we have a lot of good guys here in Northfield.
Every year, Northfield Area United Way gets grant requests from dozens of local non-profits that do great work – everything from the food shelf and crisis response to the free clinic, mentoring partnerships, and programs for at-risk kids and people with disabilities.
These local charities meet with a panel of citizens to present their request and answer questions – about their finances, their results, their plans for spending money donated through our United Way (and their Plan B if a grant falls short).
It was my privilege last spring to hear all the presentations, and I was blown away. The amount of charitable work taking place in our community is humbling. The people doing this work have such integrity and dedication.
The volunteer panelists who heard their presentations walked out of the room shaking their heads: “I had no idea,” they said, of the depth of need and the quality of charity happening so close to home. “I wish we had more money to give.”
It’s hard, sometimes, to recognize the good guys – charities and donors alike. Most don’t toot their own horn. Luckily for us, they can come together through Northfield Area United Way, and we can keep helping our neighbors without worrying about getting ripped off.