OUR CORNER: Here’s a chance to help your neighbors

The Neighbors in Need campaign begins Nov. 25 this year and continues through Jan. 2, 2010.

By Bill Marcum

The Neighbors in Need campaign begins Nov. 25 this year and continues through Jan. 2, 2010.

The newspaper collects and then sends 100 percent of all the funds raised to Plateau Outreach Ministries, which funds The Samaritan Project.

Through this program, POM offers emergency financial assistance to those in need in our communities for issues such as rental eviction, power/utility shutoff notices, prescription costs and emergency shelter.

The Neighbors in Need program started at The Daily News in Longview in 1987 by then-owner/publisher Ted Natt. Rhonda Madison and I worked at The Daily News for more than eight years and each ended up in Enumclaw at The Courier-Herald. Rhonda came to me in 2003 and said we needed to start the Neighbors in Need program for POM. We contacted POM, met with the board and the program was started.

The Courier-Herald provides POM with editorial space each week to tell a story of the needs in our communities and the families affected. At the bottom of the story is a coupon that can be clipped and mailed to POM with a financial contribution. Last year, during a very difficult economic environment, you donated $24,833 to the Neighbors in Need program and POM. During the past six years the Neighbors in Need program has help POM raise more than $81,000 for our neighbors.

As Kimberly Fish write to me following last year’s campaign, “So many people wishing to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate and isolated living in our communities. What a wonderful community. We are so thankful.”

During the past 12 months that need has not decreased. In fact it has increased as those in our community have lost jobs, homes, vehicles and, in some cases, their spirit.

Nov. 25 will be the first in a series of stories and opportunities for you to once again help those in our communities, those neighbors in need.

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