Give again, and give at home

OK, givers of money to the community. Good job. You’ve contributed to New York firefighters galore. You’ve given blood—and you’re going to keep giving blood. You even wrote a fat check to the Salvation Army. Good for you.

But now it’s time to think about home. Across the nation, at least a half-million people are newly unemployed. Thousands of those individuals live here in Northern Nevada. If you haven’t lost a job, you know someone who has. New jobs are getting scarce, but rent still comes around every month. The kids still need essential stuff like shoes and pencils. And the whole family needs to eat.

Economic recovery may take a while. Consumer confidence is so low it’s scraping its belly on the pavement in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Following the stock market makes you dizzy, and your 401k has seen better days.

Things will turn around again. But until they do, we need to take care of each other.

The good news is that this is something folks in Reno and Sparks do well.

The workers at Community Outreach, a holiday food pantry set up in Evelyn Mount’s garage, say that they’re getting plenty of food items donated. But since there’s plenty of need this year, they could use all the extras they can get.

Every year on Thanksgiving and again on Christmas, Mount and her helpers at Community Outreach pass out bags and boxes with all the fixings for a holiday meal. The group accepts donations of frozen turkeys, canned goods, stuffing mixes and potatoes. By the time this paper is being distributed, Mount’s driveway, 2530 Cannan St., off Silverada Boulevard, will be piled high with frozen poultry. Folks approved by Mount’s organization will be driving in to pick up their holiday food packages. (Details: 356-0238.)

Within a stone’s throw from the Reno News & Review building, tents are already set up for the annual Thanksgiving dinner, sponsored this year by the Silver Legacy and the Center Street Mission. More than 40 students from Sparks High School will be serving up meals to local individuals in need from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the corner of Sixth and Center streets. Last year, more than 500 people attended.

“It’s just a blessing—the love and hope that Silver Legacy, along with us, provides this time of year,” says Edwina Hughes, executive director of the Center Street Mission.

Several charitable organizations say they’re feeling the economic crunch. United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierra ran a full-page ad in the Reno Gazette-Journal on Saturday, reminding folks of a few dozen organizations that could use a donation about now. (Details: 322-8668.)

“In this time of uncertainty, there will be increased needs,” the ad reads. “We need your help now more than ever.”

The folks in New York appreciated your help. Now, there’s plenty of money to meet their needs—as long as distribution problems get sorted out back there.

The folks in Nevada need your help now. Dig deep again. Thanks.