By ANDREW LEIBENGUTH

aleibenguth@tnonline.com [1]

What goes through your mind when you see a local organization or charity asking for a donation? Do you have compassion or do you just continue on? In a perfect world, everyone would reach into their wallets or pocketbooks.

The current economic crisis means that a growing number of Americans are finding it harder and harder to give. Some have even stopped giving completely.

Many people live under the conclusion that somebody else will give. Sadly, that isn't true. Many, if not all, charities strive on the kindness of others. When that kindness dwindles, so does the efforts and mission of the organization.

If you can afford to, please consider giving a little more to local charities, rather than less. If you can't afford to give, think about donating something that doesn't cost anything - your time.

Time can be just as helpful, if not better, than money. For example: Think about how much money you would raise by standing at a Salvation Army red kettle. The Tamaqua Salvation Army, which serves both Eastern Schuylkill County and Western Carbon County throughout the year, is always looking for individuals or groups to stand at their kettles.

Charities, nono-profits, clubs and community organizations serve as the heart and sole of our communities. We shouldn't let the current economic crisis determine their fate.

These organizations strive to provide and offer our communities year-round programs, activities, services, support and services. Without support from the community, they will go away.

Remember that your kindness goes along way, by providing food, activities, programs or housing via these organizations to those in need.

If you can't afford to leave a donation, simply offer to volunteer your time with the organization by leaving your name and phone number.

So next time you walk past a donation point, understand that you are that "somebody."