Local United Way thankful for continued support

Work is always busy. There are the calls or orders to handle amidst the phone interruptions and the rush of emails, texts, tweets and posts.

All this happens, of course, while you’re trying to keep your to-do list from growing between meetings.

And then in the midst of it, something from us ends up on your desk or pops up in an email.

We at United Way of Clark, Champaign and Madison Counties want to thank you for taking the time to respond.

I want you to know that we’re not alone.

When you receive your pledge form, turn it over and look on the back at the names of all our member agencies. They also want to thank you.

While scanning the list, accept thanks, too, from the many people in our community who, largely under the radar, volunteer on agency boards, at their events, and in the day-to-day work of helping others.

On that same list, you’ll find code numbers you can use to direct your pledges to support the services of a specific agency, each one worthy.

Another choice is to direct a portion of pledge to one of three United Way focus areas: education, income or health. You can mix and match these, and the money will go to local agencies with those emphases.

A third choice is a gift to your pool of county agencies, a decision that will allow United Way volunteers who serve on committees in each county to direct your pledge using the working knowledge they have of the agencies and your community’s most pressing needs.

All who pay attention to the news, or even just their neighbors’ lives, know that the need has built up over the years of slow economic recovery. But this year, as we continue to emerge from that time, we can pause to celebrate the positives from that time, too.

We can celebrate the agencies and workers who continued to faithfully serve during those times. We can celebrate donors who continued to make it possible for the service to take place. We can also celebrate the much-needed help everyone involved provided to people in need.

As I work during the fall with the local companies that make our workplace campaigns possible, I am privileged to get an up-close look at one more set of benefits that springs simply from donors’ decisions — including your decision — to give.

First, each donation affirms the importance of giving as a community value.

Second, each donation allows people of the community who are of a giving nature to feel that sense of common purpose with others.

Together, these two spin off a third usually unmentioned benefit: The campaign makes us aware that those same connections made through United Way are available to us throughout the year as we go about trying to improve our communities.

In helping to build a connected, caring community, each of you is bringing to life our United Way motto: “Live United.”

Pedraza is executive director of United Way of Clark, Champaign and Madison Counties

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