After covering band expenses and other costs, the Carter County Shrine Club’s annual Bluegrass Festival was able to donate nearly $6,000 directly to the organization’s hospitals in the region this year.
These hospitals do amazing work for children, serving them and their families regardless of their ability to pay. But even if the families don’t have to worry about bills, the hospital still does.
They’re only able to take those concerns about payment off the shoulders of those parents because of the hard work that the volunteers with the Shrine Club do throughout the year. Not just with their bluegrass festival, but with their horse shows, and other events.
And it is a lot of hard work. There is the administrative side – selling tickets, booking bands, organizing vendors and camping spaces, etc. But there is also a lot of physical labor involved – mowing grass, clearing ditches, maintaining camp sites, and more.
And they don’t slow down. The Shriners have just wrapped up their bluegrass festival, but they’re already back at it again this weekend with their Carter County Shrine Club Horse Show, the second horse show of the year. (For more information on the Horse Show and other Shrine Club events visit cartercountyshrineclub.com online.)
They don’t do these events because they like all the hard work involved, or the nights and weekends away from home. They aren’t doing it to get paid – the work is all done by volunteers.
They do it because they care.
And it isn’t just the Shriners.
Across Carter County you can find organizations and individuals who are willing to do the work to help others in their community. You can find organizations and individuals willing to help raise our people up and volunteering to gladly be their brother’s keeper.
Another great example of this would be the Bethany House, featured in our front page story on the Farm to Table Breakfast fundraiser. They’re another great local organization run entirely on volunteer labor, and always in need of help.
But as that story shows, it isn’t just our charitable organizations. Even organizations with a focus on other missions – like tourism’s goal of bringing more visitors to our county to spend their money here – can dovetail nicely with things like fundraisers for these charitable organizations.
That event was a great example of small businesses (farmers and producers), enthusiasts (diners), and governmental organizations (tourism), working together to meet their goals while supporting charitable works.
They’re also able to do this work because of the donations of business sponsors, who give not just to promote their own business (though it doesn’t hurt), but because like everyone else we’ve mentioned so far, they’re people who care about their neighbors and their well-being.
We’re thankful for all of you, and we encourage you all to stay involved.
And your business donation doesn’t have to be a huge cash sponsorship. It can be as simple, and as meaningful, as the donation of time from Duncan’s Barber Shop and Retro Salon to give kids free back-to-school haircuts during the Fall Kick Off Back to School event at Olive Hill Elementary yesterday.
Because, in the end, it’s about being a good neighbor. It’s about putting some of the good we’d like to see in the world back into the world. Whatever you can do to support that, whether it’s a sponsorship or just buying a cookie at the bake sale, it makes a difference. And it’s appreciated.