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Katrina's victims need help, but so do some local people

September 06, 2005

The TV pictures of Hurricane Katrina's victims in New Orleans are heart-rending - people stranded for days without food or potable water, sometimes at the mercy of thugs taking advantage of the fact that police are otherwise occupied.

By all means, send what you can to help in a situation that most experts are saying won't be back to normal for years, if ever.

But please don't forget that there are people in Washington County who need help, too. Even though their pictures aren't on TV, trust us, the need is there. You may even have called on one of these agencies already.

If you've had a parent diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, you may have received help from the Alzheimer's Association.

If you've been operated on in the Washington County Hospital, you may have benefitted from blood donations gathered by the local chapter of the American Red Cross.

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If you're a single parent whose child needs a friend, you may have turned to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County for assistance.

Have you known anyone who was abused by their husband or boyfriend? If so, they were probably helped by CASA Inc.

If you're concerned about the next generation, you may be relieved to know that help for youngsters is available for them through a variety of agencies.

The United Way of Washington County supports the Mason-Dixon Boy Scout Council, the Shawnee Girl Scout Council, the Memorial Recreation Center, Girls Inc. and the Hagerstown YMCA, among others.

United Way agencies also deal with everything from drug and alcohol addiction to preventing hunger, dealing with medical needs and deterring child abuse.

These services are what preserve Washington County's reputation as a caring community by making sure that the less fortunate are not forgotten, even if they're not on TV.

So give to Katrina's victims, but please, not at the expense of those closer to home who are also in need.

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