Charities rely on local donors, volunteers

Dear Editor:

I would like to take issue with a previous letter writer who said that without wealthy people charities would dry up.

There is a Family Pathways food shelf between the Northbound Liquor and Abby Carpet in Cambridge on the south side of Hwy. 95. If you have over-couponed and are wondering what to do with 11 boxes of macaroni, they will take your excess food and give you a receipt for your donation. So you see, you don’t have to be Warren Buffett to give to the food shelf. I looked for Paris Hilton there but didn’t see her. I just saw a bunch of hard working people trying to get through their day.

Family Pathways and the Shalom Shop and Pass it On are all thrift stores in town that take peoples’ donations and sells them. They need donations and rely on volunteers and shoppers. They all just seem like ordinary people to me. By the way, if you want to give them something, they could all use plastic and paper shopping bags.

Family Pathways runs a book store in North Branch. You can buy slightly used paperbacks for $2 and hardcover books for $4. Some of the volunteers there are people out of work. It’s a good place to go Christmas shopping, but I didn’t see any millionaires in there.

If you are out of money to give to the Salvation Army, you can be a bell ringer. There is a phone number on the Red Kettle and if you tell them you are from Cambridge, they will connect you with a very friendly group of people who will even take your picture in your red apron. I didn’t see anyone driving up in a Rolls Royce. There is just a group of hardy and friendly people who make sure that someone rings the bell at Wal-Mart and Cub Foods.

Everyone feels bad about the burning of our Isanti County Historical Society. If you want to help, you can sign up to be a volunteer. You might even get to see a free concert if you are an usher, or you might learn how to double-bag a turkey at the grocery store, but you don’t have to be wealthy to help.

So you see, a lot of our local charities rely on local volunteers and donors, hometown heroes who are not necessarily wealthy. You don’t have to be rich. Just clean out some “stuff in your house,” or volunteer your time and you too can help.

Barb Kruschel