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Turn generosity toward home

Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2001

For seven years, a group of volunteers has used their time and organizational talents to pull together a grassroots campaign aimed at fighting hunger in our area while strengthening community and family ties.

If ever a stronger community was needed, this is the time. And this Saturday is time for Columbia County and its neighbors to give generously to the Its Spooky to be Hungry campaign.

The food drive comes as Americans continue to reexamine their purpose in light of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Charities catering to the victims have enjoyed record-breaking generosity, and church attendance is at an all-time high. In the midst of these tidings, however, the economy has stumbled into recession, and layoffs and job slowdowns continue to create far-flung victims of the terror attacks.

Thus, demand for local charities is rising, even as many local pockets are themselves becoming empty. Golden Harvest Food Bank, which supplies food pantries to 25 counties in the Aiken-Augusta area, is beginning to show the strain.

The Spooky campaign couldnt come at a better time. The food drive, which last year raised more than $13,000 and collected more than 12 1/2 tons of non-perishable food and other items, has become the third-largest drive supplying Golden Harvest - behind only hugely successful drives conducted by the Savannah River Site and postal carriers.

Bear in mind, too, that Spooky was in the most neighborhoods ever last year, with just over 60; this year, the drives chairman, Evelyn Browne, says some 80 neighborhoods have signed on - including one in south Augusta, led by an energetic 14-year-old.

Saturday morning, children and adults all over the community will fan out through the streets of their communities and subdivisions, going door-to-door to collect food and funds to fight hunger. Weve shown how generous we can be in helping the faraway victims of Sept. 11; lets be equally generous in helping the victims of job loss and hunger right here at home.

For more information on donating or volunteering, contact Its Spooky to be Hungry at 863-5863.

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