10/28/07 — We need you: United Way’s work depends on your willingness to help

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We need you: United Way’s work depends on your willingness to help

Nothing worth having is ever easy.

So, it should come as no surprise that this year’s United Way of Wayne County campaign needs your help to finish strong.

The organization, which partners with agencies around this community to better the lives of your neighbors, family and friends, is nearing the end of its annual pledge campaign.

And, as is typical with any effort of this magnitude, the numbers are not as solid as they should be.

The goal of raising enough money to change 28,900 lives in Wayne County is running behind — and without some intervention — some programs could have to be cut and families not served next year.

It is a consequence that many of us might not havehad the time to think about as we go about our busy lives and start planning for the upcoming holiday season.

But that, you see, is the point.

The United Way and its partner agencies are all around us every day making it possible for families to survive, to grow, to change their futures.

The work they do is not always obvious. There is not a tote board on the courthouse lawn that marks off every time a child gets a head start on learning, a needy family gets food or shelter to tide them over or a patient gets blood in the emergency room after a serious car accident.

There is no video feed or newspaper column that keeps you posted on the lives your money helps change every day — no stock table that measures what your investment does for the future of your community.

But all you have to do is look into the faces of the men, women and children who have been helped by the United Way — and the investors who have helped make their dreams come true — to know that you, too, should be part of making a difference.

Pleas for financial support are all over the place these days. Opening the mail or answering the phone brings a new request — especially at this time of year.

But the United Way is a sure thing — a definite assurance that the money that is spent goes to agencies dedicated to the betterment of the lives of the people who make up this community.

But that is not all.

The United Way watches all its beneficiaries and holds them to a high standard. Not only are they required to show how their services benefited this community, they are asked to provide financial and other information to make sure they are handling their budgets and obligations responsibly.

And if they don’t do what they say they are going to do, they will not get money from the United Way.

So, that allows you to invest in your community with confidence that your money will be used for the purpose it was intended.

The United Way needs you, especially now.

If your employer has not asked you, please ask him or her for a pledge card.

And if you are an employer who is not certain he or she has the time to run a United Way campaign this year, please reconsider. Your support is critical — and there are United Way volunteers ready to do all the heavy lifting.

This community has always made the right decisions when it comes to helping each other.

Now is not the time to falter.

Published in Editorials on October 28, 2007 12:29 AM