(This letter is an overview of the essence of the H.E.R.O. Program and the suggested steps involved).
To Whom It May Concern,
I can recall various examples throughout the years of the media documenting and publicizing stories about unfortunate, sad, and/or tragic circumstances that had overtaken certain individuals. Without any formal program existing to solicit aid, the public then invariably responded with appropriate types of assistance (financial, volunteer services, etc.) so that the problems were greatly reduced or resolved. A clear illustration would be the plight and eventual restoration of the Open Pantry. Would any media outlet, business, or group now operating be willing somehow to launch a project and begin by publishing certifiable needs on a regular basis?
In our area, there could be an individual with critical dental difficulties, a family that needs a ramp for a handicapped member, a person who withdrew and lost his savings for a special venture, etc. (There could be thousands of possibilities for which no specific program exists). At minimum cost, a community service-minded leader would announce a legitimate need of any nature from basic to substantial (perhaps working with social agencies while keeping names anonymous) and devise a simple system for the public to contribute in ameliorating the situation.
The sponsor could even involve young people in some necessary tasks by partnering with high school key clubs, church groups, etc. in this important work that would be effective, meaningful, rewarding, and life-altering. The following is a suggested procedure:
1) Agencies gather and authenticate requests for money, products, and/or services
2) Someone writes a brief description of the individual situation in order to create a personal scene
3) Information is forwarded to the individual collector and given to someone for publicity
4) Readers, listeners (whomever) examine requests for possible sponsorship and contact someone for procedural information (sending money, providing services, alternatives for donations if request is already fulfilled, stating for whom the volunteerism is “in honor of”)
5) Thank you note to sponsor
6) Publication or announcement of donor list and of “in honor of” list in appropriate fashion; (this recognition is bound to increase involvement)
If properly committed people connect in establishing this venture, reducing some forms of hardship and deprivation (as certified by reputable agencies) for many citizens can be equivalent to “shooting fish in a barrel,” while also offering intrinsic rewards to the donors. Optimistically, I view the H.E.R.O. Program as a winning endeavor for all involved parties. This idea can be accomplished if there are leaders willing to overcome inertia so that a number of lives could be transformed positively!
Tony Odierna, Jr.
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org