United Way’s success is everyone’s success

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 13, 2009

Give yourself a pat on the back.

If you’re one of the thousands of area residents who made a decision to support the efforts of the United Way of West Central Mississippi this year, you’re making our little spot on the globe a brighter place for people seeking to lead richer lives.

It was announced last week that individual, business, industrial and all other gifts to the United Way here were up by almost $100,000 and that the $1,423,977 raised in cash and pledges topped the local goal by 2 percent.

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Not bad for a year when every economic indicator was worse than it’s been in a generation. Not bad for a year when so many lost jobs due to layoffs and shutdowns. No, not bad at all.

In turn, the allocations will flow to the work of Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the American Red Cross, the YMCA, Meals on Wheels and more than a dozen other life-enriching organizations.

Too often, some think of charities as hand-outs. The history of United Way member agencies is very different. They are hand-up groups. What they have in common is helping people help themselves.

Going forward, chapter Executive Director Barbara Tolliver said the United Way will change its format from a single, fall campaign to a two-year cycle. May it be equally successful.

Everyone should be impressed with the giving spirit of our neighbors who support and who volunteer in United Way campaigns and at member agencies. Maybe some will be impressed enough to join their efforts in 2010. When we help the United Way, we’re helping ourselves.