In July, the Pinellas County government decided they could not fund every social program they currently were funding – the taxpayers couldn’t afford it any longer. So they decided that the large not-for-profit called Neighborly Care Networks would not get a $50,000 grant from Pinellas County any longer. Immediately the local media sprung into action forecasting catastrophe if this private tax-exempt group did not receive government funds. They advised us that the $50,000 would be needed to secure an additional $450,000 in Federal funding and that some seniors would simply starve without government funding.
Well, the fear-mongers were wrong, because the local media and the big government crowd forgot one thing. People really care. They care about their neighbor and they won’t let their neighbor go without the help they need. That is why I am not the least bit surprised, but am very happy, that a local private business has stepped up to help. Today, Sweetbay Supermarkets announced they will unilaterally and voluntarily donate the entire $50,000 to Neighborly Care Networks so they can continue their valuable mission. I am glad that I advised the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners that they need not worry about providing the funds because people would do the right thing. Especially since the Neighborly Care Networks received $18.2 million in funding in 2009, two-thirds of which came from private, tax-exempt business services such as their own home health program. This is a good thing. Tax-exempt (also called “not-for-profit” groups) do best when they can pay their own way through their own business activities the community needs and through private donations that the community provides out of charity.
Now, here is the next challenge for the good people of Tampa Bay: come up with the rest of the funding now provided by the Federal government. Volunteer to prepare meals or drive for Meals on Wheels. Show the government that we do well DESPITE their intervention, not because of it. This is an opportunity to go out and find your own charitable venture and make it a reality. Americans have always produced far more good for people than government ever did. This is just more proof of it.