United Way's strong showing speaks well of Walla Walla Valley

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The local charitable organization surpassed its fundraising goal even with the recession.

The goal for the local United Way campaign -- $420,000 -- was lofty considering the ongoing slow climb out of the Great Recession.

Well, the community stepped up big time.

The 2010-2011 United Way of Walla Walla County campaign took in nearly $438,000.

This speaks highly of the people throughout the Walla Walla Valley as well as the local United Way leadership, particularly Pete and Hedda Reid, co-chairs of the campaign.

The generous outpouring could also be a sign the economy is finally turning around.

Nationally, United Way saw a giving decline of 8.4 percent.

Locally, United Way of Walla Walla County saw a decline in giving of 6.1 percent from 2008 to 2009. It wasn't much better in 2010.

The strong 5 percent jump to $438,000 is simply fantastic.

United Way supports 16 different local agencies and organizations. 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.

United Way is an organization that makes it possible for neighbors to help neighbors. That is certainly the case this year.

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