(Published April 19, 2007, 4:05 p.m.)
Today we celebrate the 200th letter and four-year anniversary in area newspapers.
The Time Is Now to Help has been assisting the needy for more than 20 years. The founder, Sal Dimiceli, Sr., made a vow to God to never forget his roots of poverty and to always help others in need. The goal of The Time Is Now to Help column is to bring attention to the fact that there are many people living in the pain of poverty, and to give hope to the poverty-stricken that there are people who care and who are willing to help.
The first column was answered by hundreds of letters requesting assistance. WC went into the communities finding elderly with no electricity, children sleeping on floors, handicapped individuals needing basic daily necessities, adults and children using free newspapers, shredded in buckets, for toilet paper, bare cupboards, etc. Many live silently, many filled with shame, in their pain and sorrow of poverty. Many feel the only thing they have left is their pride and they fear ridicule over their living conditions.
Many of the stories lead us to tears, but conclude with a joyful ending due to our assistance. WC calls this caring and sharing.
We would not have known about these local poverty-stricken neighbors without The Time Is Now to Help. They would have been left in their pain and suffering, living in fear, without the daily necessities of life and living without hope of ever receiving help.
Due to the endless hours of searching, and with the help of social workers, schoolteachers, churches, public and individual groups/organizations and neighbors, many have been found in need of help.
Those who are affected by drug addictions or alcoholism are referred to clinics. Those who are lazy, who are unwilling to work at jobs found for them, are not helped.
This would go against the principles of The Time Is Now to Help. We are there to help those who are willing to help themselves. We want to successfully get individuals and families back to being self-sufficient and financially sensible.
The Time Is Now to Help has been a big supporter of the 14 local food pantries that service our local communities. The Time Is Now to Help has purchased over 200,000 pounds of food each year.
WC gives thanks to the organizations and individuals who have come forward and given of their time and resources.
The Time Is Now to Help is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) charitable organization, allowing donations to be tax deductible. Each person who donates receives a tax-deductible itemized thank you letter with a description of where every penny went. Never is one penny of any donation spent on The Time Is Now to Help overhead. Every penny is spent on the necessities of daily life for the poverty-stricken, including: food, clothing, utilities, toiletries, household necessities and shelter assistance.
Many individuals and organizations have sent in letters and cards with their own words of gratitude to WC. Some of these letters arrive with first and last names, many arrive with only first or last names, or wish to remain anonymous. I would like to share with you some of their comments:
“Thank you for being such a kind and caring person.”—Kranitz Family
“Thanks for the good work you are doing.”—Magees
“I was touched by the article in the paper about the work you are doing.”—Bach
“We are moved by how many people are in need in this area.”—Zeasmans
“You are an inspiration and a tremendous role model.”—Leah
“We are touched by how you are able to help so many in need.”—Meyers
“Your stories are very moving. Keep up the good work.” Jahnke
“We think this is a wonderful gesture to helping the needy. I enjoy reading the column each week.” —Desings
“You are a man of great compassion and love for humanity.”—Karole Kettering
“I think what you are doing is generous because you take no financial compensation.”—George Caravelli
“Your dedication and passion are a legacy to all of us.”—Janis Hartley
“We read your article every week. It is nice to be able to contribute to a charity where all the money goes toward helping those in need.”—Jerry and Thelma Meyer
“Thank you for helping others and reminding me and others how God has blessed us.”—Dan and Kathy Flaherty
“The work you do is great, and we are proud to be part of it.”—Laverne and Mary Kuecker
“Thank you for all that you do.”—Robert and Liz Sanders
“We admire your work, and especially your heart.”—Barbara Morrissey
“I am always touched by the stories in the newspapers. Thanks for publishing these true-life stories that help make people aware.”—Laura and Roger Chenore
“I can’t begin to express the blessings I receive from reading your column. You truly reflect the image of Christ.”—Rueben and Lesley Blum
“Thank you for giving so generously. You are making a difference in our world.”—Tom and Mary Earle
“We should all use our lives to touch someone else’s life. I have learned this from you. You inspire us all to do good things. God bless you.”—Andrea Miller
“WC, we hope you live forever.”—Carl and Estrid Sanders
“Recognizing a need in someone’s life can be one of the greatest invitations from God you will ever experience. How fortunate are all those you have helped.”—Lois Guif
“The first thing I do when I get my newspaper is find The Time Is Now article. I read it, then after I wipe my tears away, I feel good about the help that was given and I make a copy of it to send to all my friends. Then I go back and read the rest of the paper.”
Over 7,000 people have been reading and networking our Time Is Now column to friends, relatives and associates.
Together, we have assisted almost 500 people every year. If it were not for all of us working together, caring and sharing, there would be so much more pain and suffering beyond what exists today.
When I see how emotionally broken down they are by the evil of poverty, I feel their pain. How can I not? My charitable heart not only gives, but also receives the same pain that is being expressed to me. I often get drained and my godly friend, the late Father Dave Braun, used to take me aside and say, “Enough is enough. You need to slow down and you need to rest. You will be no good as God’s soldier if you do not take care of yourself.” Father Dave would insist we take a break together, recharge my spirit and send me back refreshed to carry on.
After I lost my beloved friend, Father Dave Braun, there have been many of you who have supported and recharged me beyond the capabilities I thought I had. I humbly thank all of you for blessing me with your prayers, comments and kindness.
At this time I would like to honor all of you by showing you the strength and energy you have shared with me. For only Together can we continue to help. God bless each and every one of you as we continue on searching out those in need of help, and doing the Lord’s work. I love to help people. I thank God for all of you, with your caring and sharing hearts and your words of encouragement.
Health and happiness,
God bless, WC
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