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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dear Rush: nonprofit workers far from 'lazy idiots'

Posted By on Tue, Oct 5, 2010 at 2:08 PM

Nonprofit organizations are a crucial part of our San Antonio community.  These nonprofits come in all shapes and sizes and are associated with 'charitable, educational, religious, or other community beneficial purposes.' According to Texas Association of Nonprofit Organizations (TANO), there are more than 3,600 registered nonprofits in San Antonio and Bexar County, employing more than 29,600 people.

One thing all nonprofits have in common is a mission.  The mission is an organization's heart —providing the driving force behind everything they do.  Large or small, national or grassroots, San Antonio nonprofits tackle a wide variety of community problems with missions that include: providing meals for homebound seniors or healthcare for the poor; operating programs for handicapped persons; finding homes for the homeless; mentoring at-risk youth; bringing music to underprivileged children; preserving our environment, saving abandoned animals...

Working at a nonprofit most likely means being overworked and underpaid. But, it's the staff, whose day-to-day work, keeps the organization's heart beating. It's the staff who implements the programs, reaches out and literally touches the needy, inspiring futures for individuals and the community. They are, most of all, passionate about wanting to make a difference. Rush Limbaugh had the audacity to call nonprofit workers "lazy idiots."  Robert Egger, who with his staff feeds millions through his DC Central Kitchen, made this video in response.  Watch to the end to see their "salute" to Rush.

In addition to donors, most nonprofits rely on volunteers, some more than others. No matter the level of involvement, volunteers are essential to the work. More often than not, people volunteer at a particular nonprofit because of a heartfelt connection with the mission.

Every time I visit a nonprofit for a story, I am swept up in their enthusiasm and it becomes my new favorite. So, like Elwood in The Blues Brothers movie, I'm on a mission — maybe from God — to acquaint you with some of your local nonprofits, their staff and volunteers.  If you have a favorite, let me know.

beyondpaychecks@sacurrent.com

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