By HDN Editorial Board
We're not always an obvious jewel of a town. We bicker amongst ourselves about politics and issues like building a town square park downtown. We are not always as accepting of the ideas of other people as we'd like to think we are.
But we really do care about each other. The proof is in the amount of money raised by the United Way of Hill County this year. It raised $105,045, about $5,000 more than the amount raised the previous year.
There were reasons not to give this year. The good-hearted people of the Hi-Line wanted to help those affected by 9-11. For instance, look at the tremendous effort made by drought-stricken farmers for the GRAIN project. Those farmers gave up profits to help people on the East Coast affected by the Sept. 11 horror. Who knows a farmer who has money to spare. That wonderful effort originated right here, among our neighbors.
Other factors made it more difficult for people to support the local United Way. Following 9-11, the nation's economy and stock market plummeted. Financial analysts informed us of what most of us already knew the country was officially in a recession. Closer to home the effects of a four-year drought continued to test the local economy. Many Hill County residents and businesses were tightening already tight purse strings.
United Way's part-time staff of one, Bob Rice, and its volunteers, including Bob's wife, Dottie, refused to sit back and make excuses. They held numerous fund-raisers. They took their campaign to the people, meeting with businesses and groups to get their message out.
Congratulations, by the way, to Norm Gorder, selected by the United Way board as its volunteer of the year.
United Way of Hill County helps 18 local nonprofit organizations that help those in need. Every penny given during the drive stays right here.
Giving is a very personal decision. It's like religion. It is each person's prerogative and it doesn't need to be publicly discussed.
But we hope that if you haven't been among those who give, that you reconsider that decision. And for those who made that commitment to the United Way drive, you prove to everyone that we are a jewel of a town.