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Each week, Morning Edition Host, Christina Shockley, talks with people from around Michigan about what three things residents could do to help improve the state. This week, Christina speaks with Cal Morgan, President and CEO of the Michigan Humane Society.
Mr. Morgan begins by urging Michigan residents to donate to their favorite charity. “If you look at the work that’s done by charitable organizations across every community of our state,” says Morgan, “it’s very clear that there’s a huge value add by all of us getting behind the work of local charities in our communities. We, at the Michigan Humane Society, certainly need people to step forward. We have no government funding coming into our organization. So we rely on truly the generosity of individuals in the community to support us.”
Morgan says it’s not hard to see the potential benefits of better funding for charities across the state. “There’s such a gap between what government can provide for people and what the needs are in every local community,” says Morgan, “You can take a thousand examples across the state and look at the work that’s being done for the improved health of our community – looking at services to children, services to families, in our particular case, services to families and their animals and their companion animals, and public safety improvements – all of those kinds of things would be enhanced if charities were in a better financial situation.”
For his second idea, Mr. Morgan encourages people to get involved by donating their time to organizations they support. “Across our country, we have, from our beginnings, had a history in the United States of really volunteering and stepping up and working for a greater cause” says Morgan.
In particular, Mr. Morgan sees an enormous potential in a certain demographic of Americans. He says, “I was reading recently about the fact that seventy-seven million boomers are going to begin turning sixty-five in January of next year, 2011. And the front edge of the boomers will now be moving into those retirement years, and what a fantastic opportunity for people who are ending their working careers to just transition to a volunteer basis. That’s an enormous resource of time and talent.”
Lastly, Mr. Morgan wants people to speak up about whatever issues they are passionate about. “Be more vocal about it,” says Morgan. At the Michigan Humane Society, Morgan says every person involved is an automatic ambassador, responsible for raising awareness about the cause of the organization. He says, “If we can talk to one another in our society, and dialogue, and create awareness about issues, it will help all of us do a better job of both understanding the needs of others in our world, and then challenging ourselves to mobilize to try to do something about it.”
- By Eliot Johnson