Carroll County Times Opinion

Nonprofit View: Community counting on everyone to fill out census l COMMENTARY

After pausing as a nation to celebrate the birth of our country, it is important that we all remember how history has shaped our beliefs, values and actions. 

One of the great things about living in the United States is our freedom. Instead of focusing on topics that divide us, let’s celebrate those that bring us together. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Carroll County, there was amazing collaboration between the health community, government, law enforcement and our citizens to keep people safe and healthy. People jumped in and said, how can I help? As a result, many nonprofits received masks, sanitizer and other critical personal protective equipment when those items were extremely scarce. Our school system quickly recognized that students and families who relied on meal programs, wouldn’t be able to get meals if schools weren’t open. As a result, several schools had food service in parking lots. 


These efforts and stories are not unique to Carroll County, they happened across our country. When you start to peel back the layers on where does the resources come from to make these things happen, one of the layers speaks to the importance of the U.S. Census. 

Information derived from the census helps to appropriate funds for hospitals, law enforcement, fire companies, education, non profits, local infrastructure and libraries. When I think of the $18,500 per person over 10 years that is gained when someone takes 10 minutes to fill out the census, it is a no-brainer. Thankfully,  the citizens of Carroll County have historically completed the census. If you look at the services in our community and how we respond to situations, I’d like to think it is a direct result of our high response rate that translates into more resources. 


It is not too late to complete the Census. This is the first year it is available online, Additionally, here are other upcoming activities to be aware of:

  • The U.S. Census Bureau announced this week that it will send an additional reminder postcard to households that have not yet responded to the 2020 census. The postcard is scheduled to arrive between July 22 and July 28, a few weeks before census takers are set to begin visiting most households that haven’t responded. 
  • The U.S. Census Bureau sent postcards between June 24 and July 3 to an estimated 1.3 million post office boxes in communities where P.O. boxes are the only mailing address available. The postcards alert households that a census taker may drop off census invitations soon or will visit later to interview them. The postcards also provide information on how to respond to the 2020 census online or by phone. Households are encouraged to respond to the 2020 census as soon as they receive their invitation packet. Households that receive mail in P.O. boxes should provide their street address (not their P.O. box number) when responding to ensure their response is associated with the physical location where they live, not where they receive mail.
  • Nonresponse follow-up will start on Aug. 11 and conclude no later than Oct. 31. All census takers will be trained on social distancing protocols. They will be issued personal protective equipment (PPE) and follow local guidelines for their use.

In closing, one of Carroll County’s gems, the Carroll County Public Library, is live-streaming a concert by Jack and the Vox on July 9 at 7 pm. This is being sponsored by our committee. Here is the link

Please take a moment to complete the census. Our community is counting on you to be counted.

Don Rowe, executive director of The Arc Carroll County, is the chair of Carroll County’s complete count committee for the 2020 U.S. Census.

Each Monday, the Carroll County Times publishes a column from a local nonprofit, allowing them to share information about their organization and the issues facing it, as our editorial. To be considered, email with the subject line “Nonprofit View.”