If you drive down about any road in Wayne County, you can see the signs.
Pancake supper. Chicken BBQ. Ham dinner. Car wash.
The possibilities are almost limitless.
These events take place for churches, fire departments, 4-H groups and many more.
And they are important.
Area service groups, clubs and organizations and volunteer fire departments play a vital role in Wayne County. They provide everything from life-saving services to entertainment to child care.
Having fund-raising events is very important to keep money coming into these groups. They need the funds.
We all know the economy has been on a slow road to recovery and its impact trickles down to the smallest of charities. People are strapped for money and struggle to get by from day to day.
The irony lies in the fact much of the money raised by these groups goes directly toward helping those most in need. Whether it's helping put food on a table or maybe offering day care from time to time, the work done by so many groups is vital to the very existence of some people.
Take volunteer fire departments, for instance.
These men and women volunteer their time and put their own lives on the line. They don't have to do this. They do it because they care about the people in the communities.
There are few volunteer positions where someone actually straps on equipment and goes into a burning structure.
Yet these people don't hesitate and if you need them, you are thankful they are there when the time arises.
Many other groups and organizations also provide vital services to the residents of the county.
Page 2 of 2 - Churches, for example, offer a lot more than Sunday services.
They offer time for children to come and study, some arrange trips at low costs while others have day care available.
These are critical needs which help countless people who have nowhere else to turn.
And consider 4-H groups.
This is a wonderful organization which teaches valuable lessons to the youth of this county. The programs aren't just about animals. In fact, even the animal programs are more about people.
Young people are taught respect and how to get along with others. The older members mentor the younger children and encourage them to do well in the program.
You just can't pay for that kind of mentoring.
Yet all of these groups struggle financially. Each year they work very hard to maintain a budget in order to provide these types of opportunities.
That is what makes it so critical for people to support things like pancake suppers and car washes. That's where the critical funds these groups need come from — and it's all given by members of the community.
That money, in turn, supports other members of the community. That is crucial because, in the long run, we are all in this together.
Financial status, social class, race or any number of other factors don't matter in the big scheme of things. It takes all of us to help make this world go around — and that is something we should all keep in mind.
So if you're heading home one evening or out on a Saturday and you see a hand-painted sign for a pancake dinner, stop in and help support that cause.
You will be doing a great thing and you will likely have some great conversations, to boot.