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Why donate to charity? One day

the answer may hit close to home

By AMY LANSDON

News Editor

March 1, 2001 10 PM

Why should I spend time or give money to the March of Dimes, American Cancer Society or American Heart Association? Organization like that will never help my family, or me so why should I waste my money when I might need it for something else?

Well, if you are lucky you will never need the services or research that these organizations offer. But many of us will some to depend on them in one way or another. They say hindsight is 20/20, and if that were the case wouldn’t you rather give money now, than need the services in the future, but due to under-funding the services no longer exist.

I’m going to be an aunt soon, so the March of Dimes has become important to me. The March of Dimes fights for babies and fights to reduce low birth weight, birth defects and infant mortality and increase the number of women who get prenatal care in the first trimester to 90 percent. They need others to join the fight. One way to make an easy contribution to the March of Dimes is by purchasing a pennant to represent special babies.

When the local WalkAmerica is held on March 31, there will be pink, blue, yellow and white pennants along in the "Field of Hope" and along the walk route. Each pink and blue pennant will symbolize the life of girls and boys born healthy. A yellow pennant will announce the pending birth of a child and the white pennants will serve as memorials to those who lost the fight.

Cardiovascular disease kills one person every 33 second, and one of those people could be you or someone you love. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the nation, followed closely by stroke coming in at number three. That should be enough to get you to make a donation to the American Heart Association.

The American Heart Walk was just held in Pike County and about

$18,000 was raised to combat heart disease. Still, fundraisers continue. Events like, the Heart Walk and Jump Rope for Heart are held annually to raise money for research and it is time for everyone to jump in.

Relay for Life is a fundraising event held each year to fight cancer and for cancer research. Each year thousands of people put their best foot forward and raise money to fight the disease. The culminating activity is a night of walking, honoring and remembering those who have fought the battle.

This year about 552,200 Americans are expected to die from cancer, that’s more than 1,500 people per day. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the nations, and one in every four deaths is caused by cancer.

But there are more ways to give.

One is to support the Pike County United Way, which funds local agencies like Boy Scouts of America, Girls Scouts, Red Cross, 4-H, Salvation Army, East Central Mental Health, the House of Ruth, RSVP, the Troy Charity League, the Pike County Christmas Program, Colley Senior Complex, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pike County, Pike County YMCA and Easter Seals. Many people are and have been involved in these organizations and all of them are important to Pike County.

Another way to give, that will not cost you a dime is giving the gift of life – blood. There may come a time in your life that you will benefit from the blood you have given. There may also come a time when the blood you give can save the life of someone close to you or maybe even someone you don’t know. Knowing that you could have helped save a life is worth the few minutes of discomfort of giving. Blood drives are held frequently in Pike County so you will have plenty of opportunities to give.

Remember when you are trying to decided to give or how much to give, there is no such thing as giving too much or giving to little. If you don’t have money to give time is always appreciated.

Amy S. Lansdon is the news editor at The Messenger. E-mail her at amy.lansdon@troymessenger.com or call her at 670-6311.  

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