Neighbors working together in Boyne City

Chris Faulknor, Publisher
Chris Faulknor, Publisher

‘My Two Cents’

 By Chris Faulknor

The community of Boyne City is a godsend for anyone in need.

I know we’ve heard it before.

You know, the same bit about the same list of people that will help almost anybody no matter that is troubling them.

You know who they are–the ones working every single fund-raising event for different groups. But I don’t just mean that, I mean the organizations that truly work to keep things going for those who need it.

I’m referring to the Community Christmas program that champions to get food, toys, bathroom supplies, and another necessities. I’m looking across the table at the Deacons Fund that helps with electric heating bills to keep families from shivering in the dark on a cold winter night.

I’m thinking about almost a dozen service clubs and organizations, each helping the world around them in their own special and unique way, whether it be holding an essay contest to allow kids to be a part of the giving process, holding a party to benefit our local Free Clinic, or even putting on a funeral for a man or woman who served in our nation’s armed forces.

All of these people and organizations impact our community and spread the spirit of giving throughout the area.

Spread it? Yeah, that’s what I said. Nothing makes you feel like helping the world like knowing that you’re stomach ache was just treated free of charge, simply because people care about the community.

Nothing feels better than handing over a check to a group of people who need it and can do something good.

Now, I can hear the echo across the room, “Chris, if it’s that great, why don’t more people do it, and why is it always the older folks?”

Well, that’s a good question.

Numbers in our local clubs are not increasing as they could be.

And honestly, as our older members get older, they have a harder time doing the work they once did, and eventually die.

That means that every charitable effort Boyne City has in serious trouble. Even the church-based groups are hurting, because–well, ask yourself–how many 20-somethings did you see last Sunday morning?

Why? Why are our many amazing groups in trouble, and how can we help? First off, we can help by taking notice. Stop and realize what group is standing outside Glen’s collecting money, and why.

There was a group giving out Tootsie Rolls a few weeks back, can anyone guess who they were? We printed a photo last week of a boy and girl selling popcorn, but can anyone tell me why? Stop and watch in our local town and see the phenomenal things these people do that we all benefit from, and just as importantly, remember who is doing it.

Second, help these people realize what a difference they’re making.

No, I’m not saying shake the hand of every guy in the Rotary snack shack at the next football game, but it wouldn’t hurt to say “Thank you” when that money goes to a charity you support.

Groups lose members when they feel they aren’t making a difference.

That means as people grow older and have a hard time running the cotton candy stick around the edge of the machine, they start to lose interest and stay home. Those older people need to be around to teach younger people like me what we’re doing and why. Their wisdom is every bit as important as their service.

Stop and acknowledge the work they put in and help them remember that someone cares.

Third, think about and remember where people can fit, including yourself. Notice I didn’t say, “Go find the nearest club you like and join!” Notice I also didn’t mention the ones I’m a part of, and in this column, I specifically won’t.

Each and every club has its merits. I’m not asking you to join, I’m asking you to think about the needs of the community, and if you know anyone who could help. If you know a local military veteran’s organization needs help and know a vet with nothing to do, perhaps you’ve found a match. If you know a Catholic guy with a heart for the mentally challenged, you might want to look at that group that was selling tootsie rolls. It was the Knights of Columbus, by the way.

How about the group asking for help to keep a community picnic going in Boyne City?

If you’ve ever been to one, you know why it’s there and you know how much fun everyone has. Dozens of groups for dozens of people, and there is somewhere and some way for almost everyone to fit in. That may not be you right now, and that’s fine. But I’ll bet you know somebody that can do Boyne City some extra good.