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Give more than money

This is obviously not the best time to ask people to reach into their pockets and give up some of their extra money.

With the economy the worst it has been in years and the stock market taking record plummets, even people who thought they were heading steadily toward financial security are hurting.

Gas prices continue to drop — good news for people who travel, terrible news in almost every economic aspect — and families are wondering how long before they have to stop finagling just to buy the most basic needs.

But there are several ways to contribute charitably. Sacrificing a little time is a good way to offset the shortage of money for non-profit organizations.

There are several ways to do it. People can volunteer to tutor or mentor a child, they can spend one morning delivering food to needy or elderly people or work at a soup kitchen. They could just start by asking, “What can I do?”

It’s ironic that it takes troubles like the ones we have now to make us realize what needs fixing and how to fix it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson had this to say about such situations: “Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.”

Hopefully, we will all learn what it means to be responsible neighbors and not forget that when the ship gets back on course.