Editorial: To help on health issues, hunger and homelessness in the suburbs, think local on Giving Tuesday

Think there's not much chance you'll ever be part of a "miracle"? You should talk to Sharon Lane.

Lane, of Elgin, didn't have insurance or the money to get eye care, so she attended a free clinic recently at Judson University coordinated by the Heal Elgin project and the Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps.

"This really is a miracle," she described the event to our Jake Griffin. "On the spot, you see better."

We need a lot of such miracles, just as certainly in the affluent suburbs as throughout the state and the nation. And not just on matters of health.

Lane was one of more than 400 suburban residents who attended the Heal Elgin clinic. She is one among hundreds of thousands of suburban residents who have trouble getting access to health care, buying enough food for themselves and their families or finding an affordable place to live.

Today, on Giving Tuesday, as well as throughout the holiday season, you can do a small part to help them.

The Daily Herald has joined the McCormick Foundation to fund a "Neighbors in Need" project working to address issues of hunger, homelessness and healthcare disparities in the Chicago suburbs.

These problems may not be highly visible in our communities, but they are verifiably real. They're seen at events like the Heal Elgin project. They're reflected in PADs shelters and other programs serving the homeless and at food banks throughout the region.

Indeed, on hunger alone, the Northern Illinois Food Bank has estimated that as many as 344,000 people in its coverage area - one in 12 - live with food insecurity.

Whatever the issue, your donation to Neighbors in Need at can help.

The Daily Herald Neighbors in Need fund supports community groups that work to fight these problems. For every dollar contributed to the fund, the McCormick Foundation adds another 50 cents, and since our two organizations cover all the costs of the fund raising, 100% of all donations and the McCormick match go to the agencies providing services.

It takes armies of volunteers and a wide range of religious and social institutions to help address a sad reality that may be highlighted during the holidays but is with us every day of the year. All these programs need the support of donors - and what more fitting way to be a part of the solution than to support projects at work right here in our communities?

No, helping Sharon Lane and the hundreds of thousands of our fellow suburbanites in need is not really a miracle. It just feels like one - to those on both the receiving and giving ends.

On this Giving Tuesday, consider sharing that feeling. You can contribute at

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