It is seemingly everywhere ― the ice bucket challenge. A fund-raiser that has gone viral and seemingly out of control. The ALS Association has raked in millions, millions they will now have to find a way to spend effectively.
Friends are challenging friends. Businesses are challenging businesses. The donations are going to a worthy cause.
Here at The Kansan we took the challenge, and we issued it. The bulk of donations made by Kansan staff are headed to the Help a Hero Fund ― supporting the treatment and needs of retired Newton firefighter Vince Garcia. We saw fit to help take care of one of our own rather than donate to the national organization.
We would encourage others in our community to donate the same way. It's not that the ALS Association is not a worthy cause. It is. Donations to that organization can, we hope, bring an end to the disease some day.
But one of our own, a man who risked his life for the well being of this community, needs our assistance as well.
We also believe there is another challenge to be issued as we consider helping our own community. Newton and Harvey County needs quite a bit more of the time, talents and treasure of those who live here to be donated back.
Several of us found having cold water dumped upon us to be invigorating ― a shot of energy in the middle of the afternoon. It made us feel alive ― and very awake.
If that's the effect it had upon – or will have upon ― you, consider it a wakeup call and take up a new challenge. One that takes more than five minutes and a video camera.
We'll call it our community challenge.
Give a couple hours. Give a few bucks.
Many of our non-profits seem to have the same challenges. Board membership is aging. The generation of givers is aging. There needs to be an influx.
In Newton you can hardly throw a rock without hitting the front door of a nonprofit. Nearly every weekend of the year contains a fund-raiser of some kind. Soup kitchens, homeless shelters, addiction centers, food banks, clothing closets, youth programs and more are all trying to help in this community. More than 20 of them are looking to this fall, hoping the United Way will hit a $330,000 fund-raising goal.
All of them regularly wonder how they will find enough people to help with a task.
Some of the busiest people in the community serve on multiple community boards, work and find time to participate in civic clubs. They need your help.
― Kansan Editorial Board