The Press-Republican carries many Letters to the Editor thanking people for their support of local fundraising events. Some people want us to stop doing so.
If you read the paper in print or online, you have certainly seen the letters. They usually talk about a recent fundraiser and the important roles played by the organizers, volunteers, participants and donors. They often include a long list of names of people or businesses who helped make the event a success (staying within our strict 300-word limit for Letters to the Editor, of course).
Occasionally, comments are made online or in Speakout that these letters are self-serving and boring, and the Press-Republican is asked not to carry them anymore. That will never happen because those letters serve a vital function.
First, let us address the idea that they are self-serving. Most local businesses and donors who give to a cause are not looking for glory.
Once in a while, we will hear from an organization asking how they can get publicity for a business that gave money or goods. But most of the time the money is given not as a tax writeoff, as some cynics would suggest, and not as a way to get attention but because these businesses or individuals truly care about the community.
Maybe they have family members involved in the cause or who face similar medical conditions. Sometimes they are touched by articles they read in the Press-Republican about local people who are struggling with adversity.
The truth is that these donors don’t just empathize; they “invest” in trying to improve the situation by allocating time, money or services. The prizes they give, the event locations they provide, the checks they write, the time they put in — all of these demonstrate compassion and caring.