Mayor’s Column
by Mayor Michael Gonnelli
Mar 31, 2013 | 2480 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print

They say ‘charity begins at home.’ They also say, ‘home is where the heart is.’ If you were to rate a community by its charitable work, the scorecard for our hometown would be off the charts. Visitors driving into Secaucus are greeted by a large “Welcome to Secaucus” sign. That display board is flanked by the insignias of many civic and service organizations within our community. We are fortunate to have nearly two dozen civic groups, ranging from youth outreach, scouts, patriotic, cultural and religious clubs, who cooperate with each other and with our Town Department of Senior and Social Services.

A very insightful quote by 15 years young Anne Frank, in The Diary of Anne Frank, reads: “No one has ever become poor by giving.” By this standard, Secaucus is a very rich community.

Service organizations truly are the backbone of a strong community. Individuals who volunteer to serve the public step up in time of need to help divert a crisis. Whether it is through service or financial assistance, they reach out to help change the lives of others in need. From our oldest clubs to the newest, our residents are eager and willing to assist fellow neighbors as situations arise. The benevolence of each group, the good will of each individual and the teamwork as a group goes a long way to change a life, assist a family or simply lift a mood.

These individuals are steadfast to the motto representing each organization such as “service above self,” or “lend a hand.” The common thread for these groups is a strong objective for charity and benevolence. Ethnic groups work harmoniously with religious organizations and Veterans and youth can be seen side by side at a Pasta or Beefsteak Dinner or a Pancake Breakfast, Strawberry Festival, or Holiday Bazaar. They do this because they want to and they do it for the greater good of the community as a whole.

Throughout the years several new clubs have formed and many of these organizations work in tandem with the eldest clubs. Each member plays an intricate role that generates a civic balance among the residents. Some volunteers quilt a blanket for the sick in hospitals, or donate a handmade craft for a Tricky Tray. Other organizations sponsor a ball team, stock the food pantry, or donate supplies to the animal shelter.

In addition to assisting the disadvantaged, volunteers of many of these organizations also participate in community beautification programs such as planting flowers and cleaning parks. Many come out with community and country pride during a parade, or patriotic event.

So often we go about our daily lives, unaware of the inner workings that happen within these organizations. The endless planning, organizing and implementing new and innovative ways to reach out and help others occurs daily, weekly, monthly, year after year, and often quietly, without fanfare. For this selfless giving of time, we salute each of you. We thank you for your service. We appreciate the good work you do and we are very proud that your charity begins in Secaucus. We emphasize how fortunate Secaucus is to have these diverse clubs of youth and golden agers.

If you are interested in joining a local club, contact information for all of our service organizations is listed in the centerfold of the town calendar. If you are interested in volunteering within the community, call my office at 201-376-3576. Charity does begin at home, and each of us claims Secaucus as our home.

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