The Times West Virginian

Opinion

August 9, 2013

Every dollar that goes to United Way powers concept of ‘Caring and Sharing’

The power of the dollar — it could help deliver a meal to a homebound senior. That dollar could help fill backpacks for underprivileged children as they make their way back to school in a little more than a week. That dollar could help develop programming for adults with mental or physical disabilities to help them achieve independence. That dollar could go toward educational materials that could keep teens drug free.

Or that dollar could go toward assisting all four causes — and 18 more — if it’s given to the United Way of Marion County. And that dollar could make a difference.

Late last week, the United Way of Marion County launched its 2013-14 campaign under the theme “Caring and Sharing.”

“Through caring and sharing, we can all make a difference in Marion County,” said Rosemary Phillips, who shares this year’s campaign chair seat with her husband Bill and daughter Christy Miller.

The family of educators, who have vowed to make education a large part of the campaign, started their campaign behind the scenes as the previous year’s wrapped up with a record $453,000 final total.

The bar has been set pretty high by outgoing co-chairs Pierpont Community & Technical College President Dr. Doreen Larson and her husband Len Larson,

But we have little doubt that the Phillips/Miller family will lead the team that will not only meet the 2013-14 goal of $425,000, but exceed it. The campaign cabinet includes Holly Kauffman, Bob Marquardt, Dr. Maria Rose, Dr. Doreen Larson, Jonathan Rider, Teresa Seymour, Kim Pellillo, Earl McConnell, Belinda Biafore, Bill Holmes, Dr. David Bonasso, Valerie Gittings and Vern Swisher.

There are a lot of reasons to be excited about this year’s campaign, and it’s already off to a great start. Denim for a Difference Week will be held Aug. 26-30, during which employees at participating businesses can donate to the United Way in exchange for wearing jeans to work. And other events this fall include the United Way John Veasey Golf Tournament in September and Dancing With the Stars in October.

And while the events and activities bring in funds for the United Way, the vast majority of the money needed to meet the goal comes from pledges from businesses, organizations and individuals. Through payroll deductions, an employee could spread an annual contribution between each paycheck. Just $5 every other week means the United Way would be $130 closer to their goal. The goal raises every year because the need grows exponentially.

“We’ll do whatever it takes to get wherever we need to be,” Bill Phillips said. “As you look around the county, you’ll see there is a tremendous need for help with all of our agencies.”

Whether it’s sheltering a victim of domestic violence or helping a child make her way through the court system after the most traumatic event, whether it’s feeding or sheltering the homeless, or even developing the next generation of community leaders through Scouts programs, the need is constant. And almost every single penny stays right here in the county to help our friends or neighbors.

We ask that when the opportunity arises, you give what you can knowing that a gift to the United Way is literally helping thousands of people in our home town. Sharing what we have is the best way to show these in need that we really do care.

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