Thursday, September 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Happy First Birthday, S.O.S.

Have a few extra bucks? Wanna put them to good use, right now? Check out Sink Or Swim Philadelphia - S.O.S., for short - a nonprofit that will let you play Good Samaritan to uninsured and under-insured folks in medical need for whom a few dollars will go a very, very long way.

Happy First Birthday, S.O.S.

Have a few extra bucks? Wanna put them to good use, right now? Check out Sink Or Swim Philadelphia - S.O.S.,  for short - a nonprofit that will let you play Good Samaritan to uninsured and under-insured folks in medical need for whom a few dollars will go a very, very long way.  

It's simplicity is a thing of beauty. Just go to the S.O.S. website, click on the word "recipients" and a bunch of stories will pop up that describe folks who could use a little help. A new recipient is posted each month, and donors can decide to whom to donate and how much to give them. The needs aren't huge - there's no million-dollar wish lists - but, if fulfilled, they'll make a huge difference.

Among the needy are Carolanne, an amputee, who needs $600 to repair her prosthetic leg. Joe, a quadriplegic, who is $4,000 shy of buying a handicapped-accessible van. Yelez, diagnosed with schizophrenia, for whom $2,500 will pay for medications to keep her stable.

SOS Philly, founded in October 2011 by a nurse named Marion Leary, is celebrating its first birthday on Sunday, Oct. 28th, from 2pm-4pm with a party at  Garden Variety, the open-air market at 2nd and Poplar Sts. in Northern Liberties. There's a lot to toast: In its inaugural year, over $17,000 helped 11 people in need, with just a few mouse-clicks. What a truly wonderful idea!

Happy birthday, S.O.S., and thanks for the good deeds you allow to happen.

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
About this blog

When my phone rings here at the Daily News, nine times out of ten the caller begins the conversation with, “Yeah, so what happened was…”.

Because this is Philly, the caller doesn’t say, “My name is Bob” – or Mary – “and I wonder if I could have a moment of your time?” Philadelphians are too direct for that. They just say, “Yeah, so what happened was…”, and then tumble into a tale they think oughta be shared with a wider audience. I love getting these calls (even the ones where it becomes clear, after 30 seconds, where the caller sowed the seeds of his own misery), because they give me chance to connect with fellow citizens in a way that no other job allows. Well, okay, no other job for which I’m remotely qualified.

That’s why my blog is titled “So What Happened Was…”. To me, it’s the quintessentially Philly way of saying, “Once upon a time.” When I hear it, I know a good story is coming. And I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Ronnie Polaneczky has been an award-winning columnist for The Philadelphia Daily News since 1999, offering a front-steps perspective on every aspect of city life, from the sublime to the stupid. In her past life, she was the editor-in-chief of Atlantic City Magazine, associate editor at Philadelphia Magazine and a fulltime freelancer published in Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Reader's Digest, Men's Health, MarieClaire and others. She lives with her husband, daughter and various pets in the city's Fairmount section, where she dreams of one day singing The National Anthem at an Eagles game. In addition to her column and blog, you can enjoy Ronnie's musings in podcast form here.


Read more from Ronnie Polaneczky at Earth to Philly, the Daily News blog on anything and everything "Green Reach Ronnie at polaner@phillynews.com.

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
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