The Madison County Journal
November 14, 2001
Among the wise sayings included in American culture is "Haste
makes waste." The truthfulness of this statement is made
evident by the aftermath of September 11th. Dozens of organizations,
old and new, immediately began raising funds to help the victims
of the attacks.
Millions of Americans donated money and blood. The generosity
of our nation was overwhelming.
The problem is that most of these organizations, including such
major groups as the Red Cross, simply were not prepared to properly
use the gifts they received. Millions of dollars are now sitting
in accounts while organizations try to figure out what to do
with them. Many of them are diverting money from the stated cause
to cover other expenses. Many of them are expending vast sums
on "planning" or other administrative activity. People
who donated money specifically to aid the victims have no guarantee
that their money will be used for that purpose.
Other gifts, such as blood, clothing and equipment are not being
used. The Red Cross has admitted that a significant amount of
donated blood will be discarded because they were not prepared
to use it or preserve it.
While the charities dedicated to the victims of terror are flush
with money, local charities are going bankrupt. Abused spouse
homes, food banks, church assistance funds and other local volunteer
service providers are scraping the bottom of the barrel for funds
Most people have budgetary limits on how much they can give.
When most of the available gift money is soaked up by one major
crisis, local charities find fund-raising difficult.
So what do we do now? I have always believed in another wise
saying, "charity begins at home." I interpret that
as meaning we should give to local efforts. The larger the charity,
the less opportunity we have to know if our gifts are properly
If you have anything left to give for the season, support can
drives for the food bank. Give a toy to "Toys for Tots."
Even better, if you are aware of a family in need, call several
of your neighbors and "adopt" the family for the season.
Direct aid to those in your own community ensures that your gifts
go to those who need it. When you give to local charities or
directly to those in need, you know how your gift is being used,
and can be assured that it goes to the needy, not into the pocket
of some administrator.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal.
His web page can be accessed at www.mcga.net. His email address
The Madison County Journal
November 14, 2001
Dogs should have gotten final yard
Let's get this debate out of the way.
Yes, Mark Richt's puzzling decision to run the ball with no time
outs on the last play of Saturday's Georgia-Auburn game made
about as much sense as Bobby Knight speaking at an anger management
But the sketchy call shouldn't overshadow the fact that either
way you dissect it, three feet were too much to ask of the Bulldogs
in their home stadium with revenge against a hated rival in their
Once again Georgia couldn't make the big play when it counted,
once again our guests raided the hedges, once again the Bulldogs
are a mid-tier SEC team at best.
Believe me, I know there are bigger tactical problems at hand
in the world than whether or not Georgia's ground forces can
muster a yard, but as a Bulldog fan in the sports world, the
new Dogs' old tricks are becoming excruciating.
Except for what now looks like a fluke win at Tennessee, the
red and black is staying in the middle of the pack because they
consistently don't show up at crunch time.
And Georgia's newest coach is having to pull out a quote that
became standard issue from the Bulldogs' past two head men.
"Well...(INSERT TEAM) just made the plays at the end and
Already in 2001, Georgia has watched South Carolina march for
a late score to snatch victory from the Dogs while the team could
do nothing with four turnovers from the Florida Gators.
And while everybody revels in the last-second score by the Dogs
in Knoxville, everybody forgets it only happened because of a
huge, late defensive lapse that sent Georgia scrambling to pull
the game out of the fire.
And now the Auburn let- down.
A possible 10-win season and attractive bowl bid were still on
the table and a game-tying touchdown stood a yard away with 86,000
fans ready to witness the hero who would cross the goal line.
But when the Auburn players shoved Jasper Sanks back, they also
shoved the Bulldogs back into the mediocrity they've been mired
in for two decades.
We Bulldog fans are a fickle breed, but we've still been there
every time the Bulldogs have shown up a yard short and a second
late. And we know a team can't keep coming up on the short end
of the big play and win a championship.
At last check it's been 19 years and ticking since the Bulldogs
have won the SEC. That's no coincidence, my Bulldog brethren.
Now it's way too early to condemn Richt.
He's still done a solid job in his first season as head coach
of a school with fans-like me-whose patience has grown slimmer
than the yard the Dogs failed to make this past Saturday.
However, how his team shows up in the last three games will tell
volumes about his ability to bring a team back from failure.
Hopefully, he'll be able to make the hard yard.
Ben Munro is a reporter for Mainstreet Newspapers.