The United Way of the Coalfield is once again in full campaign mode to raise the much needed monies to support our Community Partner Agencies.
As I was reflecting on composing this article, I thought back to 1979 when I was moving back to Madisonville to start a new job at a local bank. I remembered back to 1980 and how I began giving to the United Way Campaign through payroll deduction. Over the years I came to realize that the money I had donated was going to change the lives of people I had come in contact with each and every day, but the person it has changed the most was me. Through my giving each year to the United Way Campaign it has changed my life by allowing me to become part of the change in my community.
This year we are attempting to raise $500,000 in our annual campaign, this is a 25% increase over last year’s campaign. We have decided to increase our campaign goal this aggressively because it is the amount presently needed to fund our Community Partner Agencies at the level they feel is necessary to meet the needs within our community.
So today I am asking each and everyone to join with me in becoming part of that change. The United Way dollars you and I contribute work to change the lives of people we come in contact with each, and every day, our friends, our neighbors, and our fellow citizens.
In the course of a year our community partner agencies of the American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Family Advocacy Center, Hopkins County 4-H, Hopkins County Community Clinic, Hopkins County Family YMCA, PACS – Meals on Wheels, Muhlenberg County Opportunity Center, Pennyroyal Mental Health – Trace Industries, PACS -Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Salvation Army, and Sanctuary touch the lives of thousands of individuals, children, families and seniors, inspiring hope and creating opportunities for a better tomorrow. All of this is made possible through your giving to the United Way.
It has been said that “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we GIVE!”
Through your giving, you are helping people that you come in contact with daily, people that without your support might not receive the crucial assistance they desperately need.
It may be a homebound senior you know that is only able to maintain their independence because of a hot meal provided and delivered daily by PACS – Meals on Wheels.
May be its an individual or family you have known in a crisis that has received food, clothing, medicine, and other crucial assistance to get them back on their feet through the Salvation Army, or someone who has received medical services and treatment provided by the Hopkins County Community Clinic, who is working but cannot afford health insurance.
May be you know a child who has suffered abuse or neglect, and is being helped to prepare for a court proceeding through Family Advocacy’s CASA program of Court Appointed Special Advocates, or maybe it’s a child or youth whose life has been made better through the mentoring and development programs offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters and Hopkins County 4-H.
Maybe you know someone who has lost their home due to a fire or other natural disaster and the helping hands of the American Red Cross were there to support them in their time of loss.
You may know an adult who is mentally or physically challenged but through the work, and rehabilitation of the sheltered workshops offered by Muhlenberg County Opportunity Center and Trace Industries have found a place and are developing skills for a more fulfilling life.
Or it may be a working mother you know that could only enter the workforce or return to school because of a scholarship offered to help pay a portion of her child’s tuition for their care at the Hopkins County Family YMCA Kids’ Center or you may know a woman who has suffered domestic violence where a call to Sanctuary offered her and her children a safe shelter and the support services she needed.
Or may you know a senior citizen who is volunteering their time and talent in a local human service agency through the PACS Retired Senior Volunteer Program that is helping make life easier by their caring hands of support.
Day in and day out our Community Partner Agencies are working to create long lasting change in our community, and now I am sure you understand our campaign motto about why “It’s not about meeting a goal, it’s about meeting a need”, and as we have now started our campaign, the need has grown in our community and your continued support is more important now than ever before. Support that is needed to assist our Community Partner Agencies meet the challenge they are faced with daily to serve those individuals, children, families, and seniors in crisis.
I personally know of no other organization where the money you give stays local, meeting local needs, spread across 12 local Community Partner Agencies , administering 18 different local programs that reaches out to ensure that our children, families and seniors continue to receive much needed crucial services.
As I mentioned the money you give stays local, only 1% of our total campaign receipts from last year’s campaign went outside of our community to pay support dues to United Way Worldwide and United Way of Kentucky, with the remaining 99% of the money being spent locally to support a two member United Way staff and provide funding to help in supporting our 12 Community Partner Agencies.
So today I am inviting you to once again become part of that change by supporting your local United Way, where the money you give stays local, helping our friends, our neighbors, and our fellow citizens.
Each of us can make a difference through our giving and united we can reach out a hand to one and influence the condition of all, but it all starts with one person, “YOU”.
For more information about all of the United Way’s programs, contributing, or to view our 2012 Campaign Video that are now available at any time by visiting our website at www.unitedwayofthecoalfield.org , by calling our office at 270-821-3170 or better yet just stop by for a visit at our office located at 1 South Main Street here in Madisonville and hear firsthand how your support can make a difference.