Although all the economic signs have been pointing up lately, plenty of people are still hurting -- many right here in the Walla Walla Valley.Publisher Rob Blethen is a board member of the United Way of Walla Walla County and the local YMCA, Editorial Page Rick Eskil is a member of the Friends of Children of Walla Walla Board and Human Resources Manager Lacey Town is on the local American Red Cross Board. All are members of the U-B Editorial Board.
And those folks need our help.
One of the best ways to give a helping hand is to donate to the United Way.
United Way supports 16 different local agencies and organizations.
For example, your donations to United Way go to Helpline, an agency that provides food, shelter and funds for utilities to those going through difficult times.
It also helps support the Blue Mountain Action Council, The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross, agencies that provide for the basics to families in need.
United Way support is also critical to organizations that help make this community stronger. Camp Fire USA, Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, the YMCA, the YWCA, Friends of Children of Walla Walla and more all count on United Way funds so they can continue to offer programs that benefit kids and families.
The goal of this year's United Way campaign is $460,000, which is the same as last year's goal. That campaign netted $440,000. That's an impressive figure given the lousy economic conditions. It highlights the generosity of this community.
So far this year's campaign, which began this fall, has raised just over $105,000. That's slightly behind the pace of last year's campaign.
Now is the time to make your donations and pledges to United Way.
Almost all of the funds collected stay in this community. A local board oversees the contributions and makes sure that 99 cents out of every dollar stays here.
The United Way has calculated that 24 percent of the money donated helps youths succeed, 20 percent provides basic needs and promotes self sufficiency, 19 percent supports health, safety and vulnerable populations and 18 percent is dedicated to strengthening and supporting families.
That money directly helps one in three people in our community. Indirectly, of course, it impacts all of us.
Donating generously to United Way helps build a stronger community.