September 21, 2012 | Back to: Columns

Please consider investing in America’s youth

Back on July 23, The Union printed an article about the KARE Crisis Nursery’s financial woes just nine months after The Union had written two very powerful articles that basically highlighted how absolutely necessary the Nursery is (a house filled with warmth and love that I experienced first-hand in 2008).

The article saddened and concerned me but the letter that I received five days later nearly brought me to tears.

The letter combination made it very clear that the Nursery’s other youth programs’ days are numbered as grants are currently only available for NEW nonprofits.

Money the Nursery and others used to rely on is, or quickly will be, gone. Without the loving, caring financial support of philanthropists, Nevada County’s vitally important and unique “safe-havens,” “social maturity conduits” like the Nursery and the Overtime program and the Hangout (for older youth) will cease to exist.

How in the world did it come to this? Well, there are many reasons, including the fact that our philanthropists simply have too many choices (other than children) to “invest” in.

And, make no mistake, when a philanthropist makes out a check for thousands of dollars to their favorite cause, they’re expecting to see that their donation actually make some kind of difference — the kind of difference that programs like the Nursery, the Overtime program and the Hangout already make every day.

I could take this opportunity to question the worthiness of other causes versus children, but that’s not fair; although we’re almost past the point of “playing fair” (a sentiment echoed by many of us who are selflessly devoted to the safety and well being of our children).

But, for now, I’m going to take the “high-road.” Previous Other Voices columns I’ve written centered around our (slightly older) young people and reflect but a mere fraction of love, respect and admiration I have for them (and my 15-year-old daughter). But if you had read my very first letter to the editor, printed Christmas Day 2010 regarding You Tube bullies, you’d probably wonder what caused me to reassess my opinion.

Quite simply put: What is so remarkable about today’s children is that, if you really pay attention and listen and show them you care, they will somehow effortlessly, without even knowing it, reward you in more ways than you could ever imagine.

And, yes, there are some young people who need a “wake-up call” (possibly via law enforcement) and yet others who will (with a gentle nudge) give themselves a wake-up call. In neither case do they let the call go to voicemail because they (believe it or not) actually acknowledge that this country desperately needs for them to be one of the most involved, caring and focused generations that America has ever had. And, they have to do this despite having to cope with the many more forms of evil that they face on a daily basis but they need (deserve) some help as it’s not their fault they’re inheriting a economically, socially and politically misaligned country.

Oh, and by the way, they know exactly what hand has been dealt them, but they’re not whining about it. They really just want to get on with the (new) show.

Helping our children prepare for a somewhat scary future begins now with finding some awesome philanthropists to come forward and invest in the KARE Crisis Nursery (call ahead at (530) 265-0693). If others would like to invest in the future of our slightly older youth they should call ahead and visit the Hangout at (530) 273-0932 or the Overtime program at (530) 277-7166.

Once again, may God bless and protect all of our precious children as they make their journey forward to try and save our country.

Mike A. Craig lives in Grass Valley.

Helping our children prepare for a somewhat scary future begins now ...

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Mike A. Craig


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The Union Updated Nov 16, 2012 12:01PM Published Oct 5, 2012 10:56PM Copyright 2012 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.