Football star J.J. Watt raised $30 million. Wal-Mart did, too. And President Donald Trump is kicking in $1 million on his own.
Those are some of the contributions flowing into the relief funds for Texans struggling to deal with the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.
And now we have the damage done by Hurricane Irma – hopefully with a less staggering toll.
Americans and American companies have always stepped up in times of trouble to help those in need and this year’s outpouring of support is testament to the good-heartedness of people across the country.
But the needs are not just in hurricane areas, many times they are right here at home. We were reminded of that this week when leaders of Racine’s Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization put out a warning letter that their funding is in a precarious place.
HALO provides shelter, meals and care for area homeless at its center at 2000 Dekoven Ave. and has been operating at near its 120-bed capacity all summer. With winter just around the corner, HALO leaders fear the need for accommodations may outstrip their capacity and require additional an additional building.
In a newsletter sent to HALO supporters, HALO Executive Director Gai Lorenzen and board president Jim Henderson said demand was up and donations were down.
“We cannot stress enough how critical our need is right now,” they wrote. “Without a significant increase in funding from the community, our ability to care for those who need the help HALO provides and who trust us to keep them safe and provide needed services will be compromised.”
That’s fair warning and a call for help – not just donations but volunteers as well.
But HALO’s leaders should also quantify those dollar needs and let Racine people know just how they intend to proceed. What would it cost to open an additional building? What are the plans for long-term financial stability for the homeless operation and how can they be met?
We’re confident Racine residents will step up to help meet those needs once some clear goals have been set. That will only encourage volunteers and donors to help meet the need.