EDITORIAL: Carry the load

We’ve got to find a way in Marion County to carry our share of the load when it comes to financially supporting the work of the American Red Cross among us. Marion County and McPherson County are supposedly partners in the Sunflower Chapter of the Red Cross, which is based in McPherson. But it’s been a one-way partnership as of late.

Last year, the Red Cross spent more than $29,000 on disasters in Marion County, most of them fire related. The organization spent only $6,000 in McPherson County over the same period. Granted, it seemed to be our year for fires, and McPherson County should feel grateful it was spared additional crises. But the problem is Marion County has contributed next to nothing to replenish the pot that is intended to serve both counties. And this year has been no fluke. We’re habitually stingy on our side of the line.

Red Cross leaders struggle to understand why our track record for financial support is so poor. They recently have launched an effort to recruit more contact persons within Marion County to see if new life can be generated among us (see Page 12). They have their work cut out for them. One thing that may help is to move forward with a United Way organization in Marion County that can serve as the collection vehicle for the Red Cross. That model works well in McPherson County.

Ultimately what we need is a new birth of generosity among us. If we truly realized what the Red Cross has done for us of late, we could not help but respond.

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