Bob Brown
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On March 1, Congress failed to come to an agreement on a federal spending package, leading to the implementation of sequestration resulting in an $85 billion cut in government spending over the next seven months. Hardest hit are programs that serve our community’s most vulnerable. But, there is hope and that hope lies within us.

Once upon a time, people took care of people in need. It’s what truly made a community — knowing and helping our neighbors. It goes far back, even to the example of the Good Samaritan; when a man was beaten and robbed, there were no governments or 911 emergency numbers to call that would rush relief. Relief came when people cared about other people.

Today we find ourselves increasingly reliant on a government for relief… for housing, food, education, health care. But the truth is, regardless of which side of the political fence you are on, the government is running out of money.

With every financial crisis, nonprofits have been there to serve those in need. Indeed, Catholic Charities was founded in Arizona in 1933 to help those suffering through the Depression and advocate for children.

Catholic Charities Community Services, and we as a community, have the opportunity to be the beacon of hope to our community’s most vulnerable. As individuals, as agencies, as community businesses and organizations, it’s time to step forward, to take back the care of our neighbors in need.

If you haven’t volunteered before or given before, do it now. If you have, ask yourself if you can do more. I urge you to do it now, because the need is now.

Together, at the local level, we make the communities what we want; a community that values all of its citizens. A community that recognizes those in need and that serves all with dignity.

• Bob Brown is president and chief executive officer for Catholic Charities Community Services in Phoenix. For more information, visit www:

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