Signs may indicate that the economic downturn that a year ago slapped not only the United States and the rest of the world is easing, but its effects linger. Even businesses and households that were fortunate enough to escape serious financial damage – if you take retirement nest eggs out of the equation – have become much more cautious about how they handle their resources.

Organizations that rely on the generosity of givers are also feeling the pinch, and the Boys & Girls Club of Brown County went public with its difficulties last weekend. But they aren’t the only one. Local agencies that exist to help our citizens – young people, adults in distress and others with particular needs – are being hit with a double whammy. Just as donors are either unable or slow to give as they have in the past, the demand on their services has grown. That’s exactly the situation with the Boys & Girls Club, which has seen unprecedented numbers of children become members.

Most if not all of these organizations were operating on a bare-bones budget in so-called good times, so their finances are really tight now. With the holidays just around the corner, and with improvements in the economy predicted – although slow to arrive – it is time for those who can to consider what they might do to make certain that agencies like the Boys & Girls Club and others will continue to serve the community. Losing any of them would be a tragedy.

Brownwood Bulletin