Giving Compass' Take:

• Ben Makuch at VICE discusses the struggle as as more and more people move out of rural communities and into cities, small towns across the US and Canada are becoming unable to provide vital emergency services.

• How can donors help provide support and the necessary funds for rural communities and small towns to survive and run effectively?

Here's another article on other struggles that small towns in North America are going through. 

It was the fall of 2017, and Sam and I were in the nosebleeds of the Canadian Tire Center in Ottawa among the screaming NHL diehards watching what looked like little stick men playing hockey from afar. I hadn’t seen my cousin in over a year. I had just come back from reporting on Ukraine, and was exhausted.

“Yeah, I’ve had my own problems, I think,” Sam told me. “Had to watch a guy get cut down that I knew after a suicide. It was really tough.” That incident had happened to him after the Christmas holidays the year before; he had seen the same person at a store only days earlier.

Sam isn’t a paramedic, a cop, or a soldier, and he’s not getting the benefits or retirement funds that might come with those jobs. In his spare time when he’s not at his actual job, or taking care of his family, Sam is a volunteer firefighter for his community, because if people like him didn’t do it, his town wouldn’t have anybody for the job. In an area of a few thousand people, firefighting often means answering emergency calls involving people you know having the worst day of their lives.

Read the full article on why small towns are struggling to provide emergency services by Ben Makuch at VICE