As the rising price of fuel squeezing budgets this summer, every household has been forced to adjust its priorities. The same conditions are affecting charities and organizations that help those in need, because they are hit with a double-barreled blast. More people seek assistance because of economic difficulties, but some donors and volunteers are no longer able to provide the support required to sustain charitable programs.

Perhaps the downturn in fuel prices will not only provide relief to families in need, but also to families who historically have been able to find something extra in their budgets for helping others.

With the fall semester of schools preparing to get under way, if they havenít already begun, a number of organizations will again be looking to their supporters for help. Among them are the local agencies that are members of the Brown County United Way, whose campaign for next year will officially begin in September. But many employee groups are already being contacted concerning their opportunity to give.

Many donors prefer to wait to give until they recognize that the need is truly great. Those individuals may find many ways to help this year, especially in the weeks and months leading up to Christmas. Other donors will find it more difficult than ever to do what they have been doing in past years, even though they realize the the importance of their support as also never been greater.

This community has long prided itself in taking care of its own, even during tough times. Those who are able will want to find an organization that needs support, and then do what they can to help out - whether that means volunteer hours or cash contributions. Such support will be deeply appreciated.

Brownwood Bulletin