Give time, treasure best gifts to offer
Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 6, 2008
Years ago, in a small church in Florida, a priest told the story of a conversation between Mother Theresa and William F. Buckley Jr.
During the interview, Buckley repeatedly asked Mother Theresa where devotees could “send a check” to help her ministry.
No matter how many times he asked the question, Mother Theresa never gave an address. Instead, she urged those watching Buckley’s show to volunteer, to give their time and their talent in their own communities.
That little story became my mother’s favorite sermon, and she and I have talked of it often since.
It is easy in times of disaster to send a check – and, honestly, it is often easier for the folks running relief efforts to accept a check than to have to deal with anything more substantial than a monetary donation or with anyone untrained in disaster relief.
But disasters like Hurricane Gustav should remind us that, there but for the grace of God go we. A slight jog to the east while Gustav was over open water, and we might be sitting in the dark, trees down and roofs blown off, as we were during Hurricane Ivan.
If that were the case, we know that we would band together as a community to get through the storm and its aftermath, just as we did during Ivan.
But as it stands now, the local Red Cross has only three volunteers specifically trained in disaster relief efforts. That isn’t enough people to help man shelters in our community if the need were to arise.
We have so many people in Brewton and the surrounding area who give their time and their talent – and their treasure, when it’s needed – just as Mother Theresa would have advocated. Our volunteers work every day at so many places and events to make our community a better place.
Now the Red Cross is asking for volunteers to learn to help, only when disaster strikes. We hope that is never, but we all know that’s not likely the case.
If you have the time and the availability, please call Red Cross today – so that if you are needed in the near future, we have a talented team who can take over.
Kerry Whipple Bean is publisher of The Brewton Standard.