Itâ€™s Time to Count Your Blessings and â€œDo Goodâ€Home » News » Point of View » 2008 Archive » Itâ€™s Time to Count Your Blessings and â€œDo Goodâ€
Arthur Y. Webb
President and Chief Executive Officer
It’s Time to Count Your Blessings and “Do Good”
“All of us want to do well. But if we do not do good, too, then doing well will never be enough.”
Anna Quindlen, writer, author and former New York Times columnist, wrote that almost a decade ago for her book, A Short Guide to a Happy Life.
“Doing good” can often seem a daunting task, because it certainly requires sacrifice. One doesn’t “do good” without giving up something – usually something important or significant.
These are difficult times for most all of us.
We’ve seen our retirement funds crash and all but burn.
We’re in the midst of an economic meltdown.
There’s a financial crisis impacting city, state and federal governments. People are losing their homes because they can’t pay their mortgages.
We’re in a recession, many economists assert, with the unemployment rate at 7 percent, the highest it’s been since the recession of 2001 and close to what it was in the 1990-91 recession.
It’s not as bad the early 1980s when unemployment peaked at almost 10.8 percent, but when you take into account those who have become “involuntary part-timers” because they can’t find full-time work, the picture gets a lot worse.
The other day, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said that the “unemployed/under-employed” rate is calculated at 11.8 percent when you take into account not just those who are jobless, but also those who are struggling to get by with whatever work they can find or in jobs that offer only a few hours a week and often no benefits.
It’s pretty bleak out there, and for some – those who rely on government programs for support and for their health and health-related care – it’s likely to get worse.
Specifically, New York State government faces a $12.5 billion deficit next year that the governor has been saying he will move to address by significantly scaling back on what government pays for. This is likely to mean many things, but for sure it will mean an attempt to cut funds for Medicaid, which pays for many of the services the poor elderly and those living with HIV/AIDS receive, including vital health care, rehabilitation services, transportation, nursing home care, home care and more
This is where the “doing good” part comes in.
Even though we are all stretched these days, a whole lot of folks are doing well enough to manage through this financial crisis. While these individuals may be facing some uncertainties because of the economy, charitable organizations are faced with a huge threat to their well-being and, for some, to their survival.
For those who have scant resources to begin with, there are few options. They rely on the many reputable not-for-profit organizations and providers to offer the services they need, and much of what’s provided is there because of your charitable donations.
This is the time of year when community-based organizations receive the largest influx of donations that help provide the safety-net services for frail, needy persons who have a limited ability to fend for themselves.
At our organization, Village Care of New York, for example, we receive federal funds primarily through Medicaid and Medicare that enable us to provide care and services for seniors and persons living with HIV/AIDS in our various programs. But those funds already aren’t sufficient to do the job, and with the threat of massive governmental cutbacks in funding, the burden is greater to make that up as much as possible from private gifts. Needs are increasing, too, as those impacted by the economic crisis who have borderline resources to begin with cross over to become truly needy and are forced to seek out the help of charitable organizations.
Such organizations in our community – whatever their mission – are in need of your contributions. They are the places where you turn when your family, friends and relatives need assistance.
If you do not already regularly donate to a charitable organization, please make this the year you will begin.
New York City is home to many dedicated organizations and charities that help people in need every day. Make time to find at least one that supports a cause you are interested in, and give as generously as possible.
This is a way for you to “do good.”
It is more important than ever.
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- 2008 Archive
- Itâ€™s Time to Count Your Blessings and â€œDo Goodâ€
- St. Vincentâ€™s Decision All About Good Government
- AIDS and An Aging-Prepared Community
- Prevalence of Elder Abuse is Disturbing
- Facing Challenges for Enlightened Care in an Urban Environment
- Aging and HIV â€“ Things You Should Know
- St. Vincentâ€™s Needs Oâ€™Toole Land
- Getting Old and Getting Along
- Lots of Ideas, Not A Lot of Strategy
- Serving Seniorsâ€™ Growing Needs Requires Partnerships
- An Aging-friendly Community Requires Affordable Housing
- As an Epidemic Ages, So Do Its Victims