“There is not a man of us who does not at times need a helping hand to be stretched out to him,
and then shame upon him who will not stretch out the helping hand to his brother.” ―
Long before the Democrats and Republicans of today’s society in the United States (and the various political parties of every other country) argued over if and how to help society’s poor, there were the Hebrews. It was 2500 BC, as a matter of fact, when the first tax was enacted to provide a benefit to the poor of their society. 2,000 years later, Plato’s Academy began as a place for people to come together to volunteer, and in 1910 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee (USA) that 26 women came together to begin a group devoted to charity work. Reflecting Roosevelt’s words, the Charity Circle began its work to help the poor in their community, surely knowing that at any time they might need to stretch out a hand, too.
With deadlines to meet, I arrived very early at my favorite coffee shop (where on my best days I get to see my favorite manager/daughter-in-law). Walking in before me was a fella who appeared to be heading to some kind of construction job. It turned out, his first job of the day was at the coffee shop. He spent more than 30 minutes fixing the threshold and doors. I watched him tighten screws, adjust the opener on the door, and then test and retest the doors. I thought of how his efforts would probably be unnoticed by most people who will be using the doors but how necessary his work was to the proper functioning of the entrance.
After approaching the gentleman to ask why he was there so early in the day, I learned that he was trying to come when it would disturb the least number of people, so he came before he had to be at his actual job. I thought about that for a second — someone going out of their way to make a difference that will help the most people and disturb the least. It reminds me of several people who volunteer at organizations in our town — organizations that need money and volunteers to be able to serve our community. I’m guessing you might think of groups where you live that are quite similar.
It’s been several years since I found myself in need of help that a charity-type organization might offer, but I remember how grateful I was that there was anyone out there in the world who cared about helping me and not necessarily about making themselves look good. For me, the reason a group is helping matters as much as the good work they are doing, although I realize that the good work happens regardless of any ulterior motives.
I have seen much in the almost 27 years I’ve called this town home. I’ve seen the good work being accomplished with comparatively little fanfare about the ladies involved in the Charity Circle of Murfreesboro. What I find most appealing is that they are a local charity raising money to help many local charities who are helping people in all walks of life. For instance, they support The Journey Home, an outreach to people in the community who are in need of food, clothing, showers, job search tools, and so much more. The Journey Home relies on donations from individuals and groups, like Charity Circle, along with volunteer hours.
Have you ever found yourself needing help? Maybe you have a child with developmental issues. You might need an agency such as Ann Campbell Early (ACE) Learning Center or Special Kids. The Charity Circle in our town contributes funds to support the work in both of these places. Maybe you have children or grandchildren who function pretty well but need a program that will help them realize their full potential or someone to step up in the absence of parents. Boys and Girls Club and Big Brother, Big Sister are organizations support youth who might otherwise miss great opportunities. Both groups benefit from the financial support of Charity Circle.
Our city has a wonderful Parks and Recreation department, and it really came into existence because of the women in the Charity Circle. After World War II, the ladies had seen a need to bring childcare and summer recreation to the community. Eventually, the city saw the need to offer these programs to all residents and took it over, and the Charity Circle went on to support many other local charities. Child Advocacy Center, Community Helpers of Rutherford County, Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, Doors of Hope, Good Shepherd Children’s Home, Ann Campbell Early Learning Center, NOURISH Food Bank, Special Kids Therapy Nursing Center, and The Journey Home are just some of the 36 organizations who received funds from the more than $430,00 through the efforts of the Charity Circle of Murfreesboro.
People give to charities for a variety of reasons. Some people feel that being a giver brings them closer to their community, while others just believe that if they can give they should. For some, it might simply be a tax deduction, but for the people receiving assistance, every donation is a gift allowing them to feel cared for, nurtured, and a little safer. With so many places to give our time and money, I think it’s especially nice to have one group that takes my donation and puts it to work in so many places.
I wasn’t always able to give a dollar to help someone else, and I still am not able to give as much as some others might give, but Roosevelt’s words remind me that most everyone has needed a helping hand, and it is shameful not to offer a hand when a brother is in need, if we are able. Today, I am thankful for the efforts of our local Charity Circle and encourage you to support others through your support of them, whether through attending their upcoming Duck Ball or simply making a donation. If you aren’t able to make a financial contribution, choose a charity and make an impact as you are able. Your arm might be on the other end of the outreached hand one day.
Want to support this organization by attending one of their many parties throughout the year? Click here.
Want to know more about the Duck Ball and the parties leading up to it? Click here.
Want to purchase tickets to the Duck Ball? Click here to let them know!
Joy is the will which labors, which overcomes obstacles, which knows triumph.~ William Butler Yeats
Whether you think you can or think you can’t you’re right. - Henry Ford
The best way out is always through. ~ Robert Frost
Real difficulties can be overcome, it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable. ~ Theodore N. Vail
Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall. ~ Oliver Goldsmith
You must be the change you want to see in the world. - Mahatma Gandhi