A day to care, Sept. 9, 2005

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 14, 2005

What better time to have a Day of Caring, the annual event sponsored by the United Way that is celebrated today,

than in the wake of Hurricane Katrina's strike on the Gulf Coast and New Orleans last week.

Suffolk, or any city for that matter, is probably not a lot unlike New Orleans. Were such a catastrophic event to happen in Suffolk, I bet we would find that there are many people who would not have the means to leave or to provide for themselves in its wake.

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They don't have "doodly-squat," to steal a phrase of Kurt Vonnegut's.

Most of the time, these people are out of sight and out of mind. If any good comes out of this disaster, it's that our leaders may start focusing a little attention on lifting these folks up rather than continuously working to erode what little safety net our ancestors had provided.

While the United Way has one day a year where it asks us to focus on caring, it's an every day job for the United Way and the agencies that rely on it for support.

This year's campaign goal will be announced tonight at the Nosh. I hope our community pitches in to reach it.

I can't let this go without gloating a little. This was the first year we at the News-Herald participated as a company with the United Way. In the past, the Cheer Fund has been the focus of our efforts. I'm happy to report that in our first campaign, News-Herald employees had 100 percent participation and that we surpassed our goal by more than 25 percent. It makes me proud of the great group of caring folks who put out your daily newspaper.