THE ONRUST AND THE CHALLENGER
By EDWIN D. REILLY, Jr.
For The Sunday Gazette
I had a dream the other night that every volunteer in this country, disillusioned with the lack of compassion, had set sail for another country.
As I stood smiling on the
pier, I shouted,
“Goodbye, creamed chicken. Goodbye, phone committees. So long
Disease-of-the-Month. No more saving
old egg cartons. No more getting out the vote. Au revoir, playground duty, bake sales, and three-hour meetings. Oh well, who needs them!”
The hospital was quiet as I passed it. Rooms were void of books, flowers, and voices. The reception desk was vacant…
The home for the aged was like a tomb. The blind listened for a voice that never came…All the social agencies had closed their doors, unable to implement their programs—scouting, recreation, drug control, Big Sisters, Big Brothers,
–Erma Bombeck, June 24, 1975
volunteers, civilization would not perish, but it would be lot more
of us donate to our social and not-for-profit organizations, some give
time, and many do both. Regrettably, some do neither.
Just a few days
ago, I was saddened by a letter to the editor of the Gazette that
that WMHT does too much on-air fund raising. Did it not occur to him
that he is
not compelled to watch? WMHT is just one of a plethora of area
organizations that must continually plead for the funds needed to keep
afloat. In a moment, I’ll tell you about one that needs funds to launch
organizations have sufficient income to balance their annual budget in
years, and need only an occasional large fund drive to do something new
special. Other, nascent ones, know that
balance a reasonable annual budget if only they could accumulate the
to get them started.
the most desperate need of this kind at the moment is that of the
more than a
dollar and a dream is needed, rather 2.7 million dollars; the dream is
And the Gazette is helping, having agreed to become one of what is
be other Corporate Sponsors. They will donate space about space. But
remaining financial gap is formidable, so I place the urgency of this
organization’s plea first. The Center must raise several hundred
dollars by November 1 or else risk losing its national charter. So
what you can for the good folks who are trying to get the Center going.
or call Executive Director Norm Miller at 864-5521 or write to him at
The ship I alluded to at the top will
be a full-size replica of the Dutch ship Onrust,
second dream (third including Erma’s) come true, NNR needs to raise
the end of this year, but $400,000 over the next two years. Onrust
is Dutch for “restless.” The
first GE person who makes a contribution will trigger ultimate receipt
matching funds, so let’s go restless sailors. All hands on deck!
organization that is already GE-eligible is the Edison Exploratorium on
northern Broadway near
Years ago, charities, museums, etc. were called “non-profit” organizations. For some arcane reason, governmental overseers now use “not-for-profit.” Either way, there will always be business organizations—most recently, Ford, General Motors, and virtually all U.S. airlines come to mind—who say, even if not out loud “We are a non-profit organization. That wasn’t our intent; it just turned out that way.” Perhaps we should send them a cadre of volunteers to help them out. Perhaps not.
Edwin D. Reilly, Jr. lives in