A philanthropic lifeline in Suffolk

Published 10:46 pm Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Nine worthy organizations with roots or services in the Suffolk community got a little homegrown support on Monday with the distribution of more than $41,000 worth of grants by the Suffolk Foundation.

Nonprofit groups with missions encompassing everything from adult literacy and health to protecting children from homelessness and abuse benefited from the generosity of the group, which aggregates money donated by various area individuals, businesses and other organizations and then invests it and donates the proceeds to various deserving causes.

During a breakfast ceremony on Monday, representatives from those organizations each stepped forward to receive the envelopes with their checks. The smiles were genuine, especially during these painful economic times, when many nonprofit organizations are struggling to remain solvent and responsive to their missions in the face of plummeting donations.

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In 2006, when the Suffolk Foundation was created, today’s economic crisis was just a prediction by the most astute prognosticators. The group’s founders sought to start an organization that would “maintain and enhance health, education, arts, culture, and humanities, public and societal benefits, human needs and services, environmental and animal welfare, and youth and elderly programs in the City of Suffolk and surrounding areas through the support of qualified non-profit organizations,” according to its Web site.

There was no mention of providing nonprofits with a lifeline during periods of economic upheaval. Still, though, Monday’s disbursements must have had just that sort of quality to those who received them.

It’s good that Suffolk has its own philanthropic lifeguards. We hope they’ll be given the resources to help keep area humanitarian agencies afloat for years to come.