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Ronda Graff

Community Connections

News and views from the McCook Community Foundation Fund

Opinion

Not the time to stand on the sidelines

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Most athletes donít like to be on the sidelines. That means they arenít in the action. They arenít getting to play. Yes, they are part of the team, but they arenít making as big of an impact or making a difference if they arenít involved.

This same analogy can be applied to our everyday lives. We wonder why things donít change, why things seem to stay the same. But if we are just standing on the sidelines, we canít make an impact or make the difference we want to see in our community. If we arenít involved, then things wonít change.

We have the opportunity over the next few days to get into the game and make an impact with two major events.

These are two big weeks for McCook with the Big Give McCook on Nov. 3 and the election on Nov. 8 (actually voting has started with mail-in and absentee ballots). It is more important than ever to get off the sidelines and get involved.

One way to be involved is to be educated and informed, whether it is about where to make your donation for the Big Give or whom to vote for.

Everything you would want to know about the Big Give can be found on its website, biggivemccook.org. A list of all the organizations and what they hope to accomplish this upcoming year, the giving stations, and the option to give online can be found on the website. If for some reason you canít find what you are looking for, there is contact information to get your question answered.

The same can be said about the upcoming election. Going into the election booth without fact-finding about the candidates or the issues is like buying an appliance without doing any research. You may get lucky and good a good fridge that serves you well and makes your life better.

On the other hand, you may end up with a lemon that you are stuck with for four years until you can replace it. Or even worse, you get a fridge that goes haywire and burns your house down.

The Gazette has published articles about some of the local and statewide candidates. Research online for information about the candidates and issues. The mailers that show up in your mailbox are fine but take the responsibility of being an informed voter.

For example, there are questions about the recreational bond issue on the ballot in McCook. Call the city of McCook for answers about the sales tax increase, such as it ending when the bond is paid off. Visit the website, mccookonthemove.org, for the ďfrequently asked questionsĒ section. Ask those involved in the project why they support it and have an honest discussion. Both of you will be better informed at the end of the conversation.

But the next step is actually doing something. Again, it is time to get in the game.

It is making the donation whether today at Big Give McCook or any day of the year to these non-profits which keep Southwest Nebraska growing.

It is showing up next week to vote or fill out your absentee ballot today. Even if you are on the losing end, at least you stood up and took a stand and tried to make a difference.

It isnít just these two issues where we have to make the decision to not just stand on the sidelines. It is volunteering with these local non-profits which are part of Big Give McCook. It is being a public servant and running for political office. It is getting involved with local events and projects, which are trying to make our communities better.

If you want to make a difference and you want to see change, it is time to get off the sidelines and make McCook and Southwest Nebraska and Northwest Kansas even better places to call home.

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