For the past few weeks, we have been running a solicitation for people to nominate First Citizen candidates.
Each year, the Birmingham Eccentric, in conjunction with the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber, selects the First Citizen based on that person's volunteer services to the local community. Nominations have been coming in, and we expect more to arrive by Friday's deadline.
Indeed, there should be no shortage of nominations. Volunteering has been a hallmark of the people of this area for a long time. And these days, the need for volunteering and charitable work is greater than ever.
We can expect to see more of a demand. Michigan may be on the road to economic recovery, but it certainly is a rocky one. And if Gov.-elect Rick Snyder lives up to his promises of tackling Michigan's problems in a bold manner, you can expect to see some substantial changes in the whole fabric of this state.
They are needed, but they will be painful. Some likely changes, such as revisions to the corrections budget, won't have an immediate impact on the local level. But how social services will be affected remains to be determined
It is highly likely, however, that people in need will be turning more to non-government agencies for help. They already do that to a large extent, but the demands are sure to grow. Beyond that, organizations of all sorts — including those within the scope of the Birmingham-Bloomfield area — that depend on contributions for their operations are going to need more help. Grants are drying up, corporations are dropping their sponsorships and individuals are finding they have less to donate to whatever the cause is.
Those in a position to help are going to be tapped like never before as everyone scrambles to find the available sources of funding. Few are in a position to help everyone, but those who can help the worthwhile causes are encouraged to do so. Consider this as a family crisis. A great big family crisis. Help those that you can. No one expects anyone to bankrupt themselves trying to aid others, but if you can support the needy or the organizations that contribute to the quality of life to the community, do so.
We can all be First Citizens.
To nominate a First Citizen e-mail email@example.com
To nominate a Business Person of the Year e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org