Viewpoint: Supporting local nonprofits reduces need for higher taxes

Posted at 10:48 AM on Jun 21, 2018

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BY ANDY MEHALL

How well do we support our local volunteer organizations? After attending the Iredell County Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday and listening to many people speak, it's clear to me that there is one thing we can come together on and satisfy all party affiliations. Community groups or community organizations are key in driving down the cost of public services throughout the county.

While working in the beautiful quaint Town of Harmony, I see the potential and the need to give families a chance to be successful. Harmony has many families that live below the poverty line, but this is not obvious to everyone. Harmony is a farming community that has a lot of history where neighbors help neighbors.

Matthew 25, a local nonprofit, is a great example of community members coming together for a great purpose -- to support the less fortunate. Through the work and support of the local community and the local churches, this organization helps make Harmony better every day that the doors are open. If you can volunteer or donate money, Matthew 25 can use your help. This organization survives off service and donations from the public to provide families basic assistance. This group looks at ways to feed and clothe those in need and takes steps to give individuals a basic skill set to become more successful.

Other groups like the V-Point Ruritan raise money to help out the community. The first Saturday of each month, the Ruritans have a breakfast to raises money. When participation is high, more money can go to our neighbors in need. By volunteering our time or participating in fundraisers, we can help keep this organization going and reduce the need for government programs or services.

As I listened to residents of Iredell County articulate whether we should raise the sales tax on Tuesday, I look to one area we can agree on -- that is the love and success of Iredell County. Challenge yourself as an individual to give back to the different community groups by volunteering or by supporting your local group during their fundraisers. The more active we all are in this area the greater impact we can make. This will improve the health and well-being of the county and we will have less and less need to raise taxes in the future.

Andy Mehall is the principal at Harmony Elementary School.

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