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Letter: Taking care of the needy is more than paying taxes. It’s being a community

Jacob Clark gets ready to load a 50-pound bag of potatoes into a car as volunteers hand out donated food from Farmers Feeding Utah to those in need at the Utah State Fairpark in Salt Lake City on Monday, July 27, 2020.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

I recently had two distinct experiences that have caused me to reflect on a community’s role in assisting those who are without. I wrote a paper on universal health care in the United States. I also volunteered with a small community organization dedicated to helping people to rebuild their lives.

As I reflected on the two distinctly different opportunities, I recognized a significant connection. Whether it is health care or a home, people have needs that at times they cannot fill themselves. As neighbors and citizens, we have a choice. We can pay our taxes and ask the powers that be to care for those who are struggling — paying our dues and satisfying our conscience. Or we can reverse the toxic individualism that has taken over American society and care for our neighbors. We can come together as communities to create organizations that provide hope and healing — that allow people to rebuild their lives and build connections.

While government funding may put a Band-Aid on the problem, people need more than financial access to health care. They need to be seen as people and become part of a community dedicated to helping one another and working to rebuild hope and life for every member.

Allison Stone

Provo