All helping all

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The beauty of communities is the diversity of options. There are different stores to shop, different parks to play in, different houses of worship to pray in. Communities, of course, are much more than the infrastructure. Communities are nothing withou its people and their pursuits.

Those pursuits, be they athletic- or service-oriented, require money. Every pursuit does its best to raise needed money by asking the people they know—friends, neighbors, local businesses—for donations. Keizer is a generous town, but, like modern communities there are many more organizations seeking funds than just 10 years ago. The reality is that an individual or business cannot donate to every cause it is asked to contribute to, even if they wish to do so. Unfortunately some deserving causes may go wanting.

In the tranquil days of America in the 1950s many towns had a Community Chest, usually operated by a service club. They would distribute money to various community groups. The United Way took over those duties in most of the country by the 1960s. United Way remains a major distributor of donations to a large number of charities. That leaves a gap for non-charitiable efforts such as raising money to send deserving kids to any number of events. Athletic groups generally find the money they need to attend camps and tournaments. But what about non-athletic efforts—music and theatre related events? Academic events? Science events?

Due to cutbacks over a wide range of areas by governments over the past three decades, communities and its citizens must fend for themselves. That means members of a community should help each other. Raising money to send kids to theatre camp is just as valid as raising money to send kids to basketball camp.

A community is a mix of diverse interests and activities. We all become richer for the experience of stepping outside of our sphere of interest to what others are doing; we become well-rounded citizens and pass that mantle onto our children.

—LAZ

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