Rochelle Stuart, director of Sampson’s Crisis Center, spoke to a group of Clinton-Sampson Rotarians Monday, providing an eye-opening look into the needs around us, many which we read or hear about but don’t fully comprehend.
Stuart’s presentation drove it home clearly as she encouraged Rotarians to step outside their own box, as she said she often had to do, and put themselves in the box of others who are less fortunate.
It’s a hard thing for us to do as we go about living our own lives, working hard to keep our own heads above water and provide for our families. But the truth is, most of us don’t know need the way those who seek help at the Crisis Center do. Most of us have no idea what it’s like to sit in darkness because we had to choose between paying the utility bill and buying our children a needed medicine. Most of us don’t understand what it’s like to need transportation to a doctor’s appointment we desperately need to keep or to long for a food bag because we don’t have enough money to go to the grocery story just once a week.
Yet, day after day at the Crisis Center, Stuart and her staff deal with those needs and the men, women and children who live, literally, not knowing where their next meal might come from, seeking just the kind of help that the local agency provides.
While there are those who attempt to milk the Crisis Center system, as they do the governmental one, Stuart works diligently to weed through those who work hard at not working to get to those who truly have needs.
Some, Stuart says, have great need but have little understanding of money management; others understand how to manage their money but have so little, there’s none there to actually set aside to ensure bills are paid.
The Crisis Center, a United Way agency, is there to help meet some of those needs, offering a paid hotel stay for those burned out of their homes; providing food bags to seniors and other needy adults a couple times a month; buying a tank of gas for that senior adult who might need transportation to an out-of-town doctor’s appointment; and paying for a month’s utility bill in case of what is considered a real emergency.
But the Crisis Center has its own limits, and though there are grants and United Way funding, along with the support of local churches and individuals, the needs are growing greater than the funding to meet them.
While we know there are needs across this great county, and ample areas for those who give so generously to contribute, we hope those who can will consider giving to the Crisis Center, either through United Way or directly to the agency.
We believe in that agency’s ability to help people, and we believe they do a great job of ensuring that those who are helped are truly the ones who need it most.
So if you can give, we hope you will, offering assistance to people within our own county who desperately need what the Crisis Center can offer.