June 12, 2012 | 03:48 PMThis column marks our ninth year of sharing our charitable works through our newspaper column The Time Is Now to Help.
We have shared with you 469 letters of assistance, showing how we changed the tears of pain and fear into tears of joy and gratitude.
We have shared the private and sometimes brutally honest lives of our fellow Americans struggling to survive.
We have pointed out the hidden poverty right in front of us.
The hungry children, the cold and dark surroundings of lonely senior citizens, and the daily struggle to survive that so many of our handicapped neighbors and working poor keep hidden out of shame and pride.
Even now, after nine years of reporting the poverty in our midst, after the media, CNN, CBS and Fox brought our mission to millions of viewers, I still hear, "Do we have that much poverty?"
Some people only choose to see what they want to see in the world, and not the truth that is around them. Some feel the disabled and elderly are taking advantage of our good hearts.
I say they should spend one day in the lives of the fellow creations I see every day. Feel their physical pain, live in their crippled bodies, know the hunger they feel as they try to sleep, understand the shame and humiliation of having to ask for the basic necessities of life, wishing you could work to provide them for yourself and your children. Those that doubt what The Time Is Now to Help does on a daily basis would find themselves crying the same tears of compassion I do, wishing they could do more to help their fellow creations.
Instead of tears today, we should be proud of what we "together" have done to improve the lives of thousands of senior citizens, children, handicapped, disabled veterans, working poor, and others that cannot fend for themselves.
We all should share in the words of thanks received from those we have given a helping hand to. The single mother that cries happy tears because she can safely shelter her children, the senior citizen that is able to keep on their heat or air-conditioning, the handicapped individual that can safely and easily maneuver due to the handicapped van or wheelchair supplied by your generosity.
These are the achievements I celebrate in my heart everyday and are what give me the inspiration to continue helping our fellow creations.
Your support in our efforts is the extra motivation I need to persist in bringing about change for the poverty stricken.
In nine years we have seen many changes in the world, but the needs of the poverty stricken remain the same. The need for housing assistance, utility assistance, auto assistance, and food continues to rise. Those that are able to work are receiving less benefits and less income. Those that cannot work due to disability or age are having to live on less as well. Many find it hard to stretch their meager income to pay for all their household necessities, shelter, utilities, toiletries, life saving medications, transportation and food.
Many of you have been following our column from the beginning. Some of you are new readers. As we continue our mission I want to say a special thank you to all my readers. Without your support and overwhelming response to our column, The Time Is Now to Help would not be where it is today. Thanks to you our good works to thousands of poverty stricken received media attention to tell the world there is a solution to the pain and suffering. I am grateful to all of you and the newspapers for spreading the word about The Time Is Now to Help and caring and sharing for our fellow creations in need.
Together we make our world a better place.
Health and happiness, God Bless Everyone, W.C./Sal
Please help: Make checks payable to: The Time Is Now to Help, P.O. Box 70, Pell Lake, WI 53157. The Time Is Now to Help is a federally recognized 501(c)3 charitable organization licensed in the states of Wisconsin and Illinois. You will receive a tax deductible, itemized thank you receipt showing exactly what every penny of your donation provided for the poverty stricken.
A very special thank you: Dale and Cheryl Fluegge,St. James United Methodist Church, CNN/Turner Broadcasting System, Mark and Natalie Reno, Kunes' Country Auto Group, Dick and Jean Honeyager, Dr. Mark and Cynthia Brower, Whiting Law Group, Sid and Patty Johnson, Jacob and Janice Friesema, Jennifer Olomon, John Poiron, David and Mary Riesland, Sylvester and Virginina Seick, Claudia Garber, Paul and Phyllis Bixler, James and Marilynn Dyer, Albert and Ellen Burnell, Michael and Kathe Beach, Bonita Breit, Geraldine Hinton, Gregory and Kathryn Pieters, William and Jean Isaacson, Donald and Mildred Carl, John and Violet Hotzfeld, Lois McCarthy in honor of Karen and Roger Wuttke's 50th Anniversary, W.C. Family Resource Center/Food Pantry volunteers, and all the God loving volunteers of all our caring food pantries, ALL of you who support The Time Is Now to Help donation boxes, and the businesses that allow our donation boxes. Anyone who would like a Time Is Now donation box in your business, please call (262)249-7000.
Memorials: VFW Post 7501 in memory of Harvey Peck. Robert and MaryAnn Zelenski in memory of Marc Borgert.
Special Event: Thank you to the Geneva National Foundation for honoring The Time Is Now to Help with the 2012 Humanitarian Award to be awarded at the annual Lifelong Empowerment Open (L.E.O.) at Geneva National Golf Club on Monday, June 25. The Humanitarian Award, presented by the GNF, will be presented during the dinner and program at the sixth annual L.E.O. that benefits four organizations in Walworth County that serve individuals with special needs. Lakeland School, Inspiration Ministries, The Autism Support Fund and Twin Oaks Homeless Shelter are this year's benefiting organizations of the annual fundraiser. For more information about the L.E.O. or to purchase tickets to the event, visit www.GenevaNationalFoundation.org.
We Desperately Need Cars: Please donate a used car to help our fellow American's get to work and other daily necessities.
Goodsearch for The Time Is Now: Search the web with www.goodsearch.com and help to raise funds for The Time Is Now to Help. Just make www.goodsearch.com your homepage and pick The Time Is Now to Help as your charity.
Please visit: www.timeisnowtohelp.org