If you have been to the Plum Crazy Diner you may have received a paper wrapped drinking straw with your water that pictured a pink bow and the words “Help for Today … Hope for Tomorrow.” Those words have not only been used for Breast Cancer fund raising but also for Huntington’s Disease, ALS, World Help in sponsoring a child, the disabled, food pantries, Alzheimer’s Disease, the treatment and prevention of alcoholism, and many others.

The words are a rallying cry that reminds us that our financial contributions can help someone today, and just as importantly, give hope for the future.


Carroll County’s population of almost 170,000 with a median income of over $90,000 a year nevertheless sees its share of those who are homeless (almost 800), those in poverty (approximately 5%), the disabled (almost 7% under 65), the unemployed (3.4%), and those 65 and older (16.4% and growing), and many in this latter category with special needs. While the county is fortunate to have the Bureau of Aging & Disabilities to help with multi-faceted needs, Carroll County is also fortunate to have a number of nonprofits for people of all ages, for all kinds of issues and causes, all of them seeking to do “good works” in the community.

Nonprofits step up to help where government intervention is reluctant to help or cannot help. Non-profits exist because volunteers, like Dominic Jollie in 1982, saw his fellow man in need of food and for “the sake of human decency” started Carroll County Food Sunday. For Jollie, “To know hunger exists and to do nothing is the shame and bane of human life.” His words can be applied to almost any non-profit that serves the needs of people in our community.

Nonprofits depend on volunteers like Jollie who see needs and do something about meeting those needs. Those needs are wide-ranging, from food insecurity; homelessness; clothing and other necessities; physical, developmental and emotional disabilities; child development; child care; marriage counseling; literacy; alcohol and drug dependency; animal care; perpetuation of history and the arts; protection of the environment, and the list goes on.

Nonprofits also depend upon caring individuals who support them financially as well. And because the gap is widening between the haves and the have-nots, financial support is more crucial than ever to many of the non-profits that seek to serve the needy.

Jollie’s selfless reason to give is still viable today because we as humans should take care of problems as they arise and are brought to our attention — it is part of our human DNA. Selfishly we can give locally to non-profits to reduce governmental intervention that usually brings additional taxes.

More importantly, giving within our local communities also helps us feel personally connected to those we help, and we can see the immediate benefit of giving our time and our money. Our involvement brings us together rather than separating us further, and brings unity to our community. And yes, we can probably get a tax write-off for our financial support.

But most importantly, we become contributing members of the community, united with others to provide “help for today and hope for tomorrow.” Let’s give until it helps!

Hermine Saunders is first vice-president of Carroll County Food Sunday.