U.S. census will help serve locals

Published 1:15 pm Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wondering whether or not mailing in your 2010 census form is important? Just ask Shelby Emergency Assistance Director Karen Pendleton and she will tell you what an accurate census count in Shelby County means to her organization and, more importantly, to the people they serve.

Shelby County Emergency Assistance, with help from local, state and federal dollars, helps Shelby Countians who are facing short-term crises; those needs in the present economy are perhaps only surpassed by the hardships faced during the Great Depression.

The Great Recession, as many are calling the current economy, creates nearly unprecedented obstacles for all of us. The loss of a job or a temporary decrease in work hours could put any Shelby County family’s budget into a tailspin.

How can those in need make this month’s rent payment, pay the power bill, cover the cost of treating a child’s bout with the flu? These are just some of the questions local families are trying to answer and many of them, thankfully, are finding answers through the dedicated folks at Shelby County Emergency Assistance.

That 10-question census form you will be receiving soon gives you an opportunity to directly impact the funding of local agencies like Shelby County Emergency Assistance and countless others who make a difference in the lives of your friends and neighbors. The importance of what these agencies get done in times of crises and your role in making that possible cannot be overstated.

A complete census will also assist the agency in identifying where its limited resources are most needed and how best to invest those resources right here at home.

Making a difference in the lives of those in need has never been easier than simply completing the 2010 census. And we all need not forget, the family our completed census ultimately helps through a difficult time may very well be our own.