Thank you Margie McWilliams for your recent letter to the editor in the Gillette News Record about the 1% sales tax in Campbell County, Wyoming.

I want to start with one of my favorite quotes:

“Never doubt that a small group of concerned citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”— Margaret Mead

I have heard some of the opponents of the Optional 1 Percent Sales Tax say that taxpayers should not support local nonprofits.

I disagree for many reasons, and the No. 1 reason being taxpayers actually save money by supporting nonprofits. How, you ask? There are many studies on social problems each and every year. These studies research the most efficient way to help a person that is down and out get up and become productive members of society.

If we provide resources and a hand up, the research shows they commit fewer crimes to survive, shoplifting being one example, and have a lesser chance of being murdered on the street or dying without necessities for survival.

Social services not only provide services for adults, but also for children in our community. The vulnerable population in our community depends on direction, referral and help when they are at their lowest. We all need help now and then, and it is the right thing to do to help our fellow man. We are our brother’s keeper.

I have dedicated my life to a helping field, and I have seen people transform their lives because of local social service agencies.

The percent of the entire 1 Percent to nonprofits is a mere 10 percent of all the tax collected. That 10 percent is divided among all the nonprofits.

I hope that you will support the continuation of the 1 Percent as it saves lives and lowers crime in our community.

I also invite inquiring community members to visit the nonprofits to see how conservatively they run and to learn what services are provided. Things like medications, food, transportation, temporary shelter to name a few.

Thank you for your time,

Margie McWilliams

GARF Director

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