United Way donation supports our community

United Way of Walla Walla County kicks off its 2011-12 campaign on Sunday with Family Fun Day at the YMCA.

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United Way of Walla Walla County kicks off its 2011-12 campaign on Sunday with Family Fun Day at the YMCA.

Donating to United Way of Walla Walla County is a way neighbors can help neighbors.

And a great many folks in this Valley do need help to get them through difficulties. Over the last year local people responded with incredible generosity. United Way collected $438,000 in 2010-11 campaign, surpassing the lofty goal of $420,000.

The needs continue. Another United Way campaign begins on Sunday. A kickoff celebration -- the Family Fun Day -- is scheduled for Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Walla Walla YMCA, 340 S. Park St.

The goal for the 2011-12 campaign is even more ambitious than last year -- $460,000.

Surpassing this goal won't be easy. The economy in the Valley, as well as the state and nation, continues to be fragile. Jobs are still tough to come by. Wages have become stagnant while costs -- particularly gasoline and energy -- are on the rise.

Yet, the economic conditions were similar last year and Valley residents stepped up big time. The generosity was incredibly important as many of the various agencies United Way donations support saw demand for their services increase.

United Way supports 16 different local agencies and organizations. A few of those agencies are the American Red Cross, YMCA, YWCA, Helpline, Salvation Army, Blue Mountain Action Council and Friends of Children of Walla Walla.

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 in the community.

Donating to United Way is a donation to the entire community. Please donate generously to your United Way of Walla Walla County.

Publisher Rob Blethen is a United Way Board member and YMCA Board member and Rick Eskil is a Friends of Children of Walla Walla Board member.

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