One of the side effects of the economic crisis that our country faced beginning back in 2008 is that charitable contributions have dropped off dramatically.
Many people have less money than they did back then and those that do have money are doing there best to hold onto it. I can understand being careful with your money after seeing fortunes disappear nearly overnight when the economy went south.
A study done last year by the group Giving USA showed an 11 percent drop in 2011 charitable donations from the level they were in 2007. The study anticipated that it may take up to another decade to get back to the giving levels from 2007. This comes at a time when more and more people are in need and some depend on the kindness of others just to get by. I believe that that we can do better at fulfilling the needs of our community.
Recently, the city of New Albany banned the practice of collecting money at intersections citing the danger of standing in the middle of the street. At first I thought this was a no-brainer, but was amazed when several people opposed this new ordinance. I can understand that finding new ways to raise money for organizations has gotten difficult, but I think that standing in the street at a busy intersection isn’t the best.
I personally drive through the intersection at Spring and Silver streets a couple of times most days. This location has been a favorite for groups collecting donations. It is easily one of the most dangerous places in our city and with all the distracted driving going on it was only a matter of time before there was an accident.
Ultimately, I think the city did the right thing by banning the practice. If just one serious accident would have occurred it would have been devastating, no matter how profitable that corner was to groups that count on those donations.