I believe the homeowners of Frederick County can do something that will benefit the county, help people in need, and get a nice tax deduction as well. I am speaking about the $100 tax rebate the Board of County Commissioners is sending to homeowners in September.
Here is my idea. This money is really not going to do that much for my family, maybe a dinner out or a couple of concert tickets. We will have a great time, but there is a better way to spend that money: Send it to your favorite nonprofit in Frederick County. They all do a great job of helping poor and needy families, and they really need our help because funding support has been dramatically cut by the county government to many of our worthy nonprofits to the tune of more than 50 percent during the past two years.
As board president of the Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs, I have seen the impact of the essential human services provided by the coalition that really address poverty in our county. In 2011, the coalition provided financial support to more than 1,000 families in Frederick County that prevented them from becoming homeless.
Prescription assistance is provided to hundreds of families going through tough times that canít otherwise afford the cost of vital medications, the absence of which could be a matter of life or death. More than 300 homeless people a year use the facilities of the Alan P. Linton Jr. Emergency Cold Weather Shelter, which helps them make it through the winter months. I cannot imagine someone just wandering around the streets of Frederick in winter; again, a matter of life or death.
Because I volunteer on the Religious Coalitionís board, I know it has helped many thousands of people in Frederick County during its 30-plus years of existence. I have read many articles about them in this newspaper, describing their programs and the people they serve. I have made a firm decision to endorse my rebate check over to the Religious Coalition because of the good I know it will do for our struggling neighbors in need. It makes me feel good just to think about it.
I urge your readers to strongly consider doing the same for the coalition or another nonprofit that serves those less fortunate in our community. By doing so, we will all be pulling together to help get our community through these difficult times.
Craig P. Russell, New Market