The Times West Virginian

February 21, 2014

Funds donated to United Way make community healthier, happier, safer place

Times West Virginian

— A dollar you give to the United Way of Marion County could feed a hungry family.

That dollar could protect a woman and her children from an abuser.

Or the dollar could mean that a family receives credit counseling to lift them out of overwhelming debt.

It could fund Scouting programs, where boys and girls learn lifelong lessons.

You may never know where that dollar will end up, but you can rest assured that one of the 22 agencies that benefit from funds collected through the United Way’s annual campaign will use it to make this community a healthier, happier, safer place to live. A dollar can make a difference in someone’s life, and Marion County came through with $425,000 worth of life-changing opportunities.

On Tuesday, the United Way celebrated meetings its annual campaign goal. While the goal of $425,000 was met by Dec. 31, it was exceeded with fundraisers held after the new year, and that money will be used to help kickstart next year’s campaign.

Chaired this year by a husband, wife and daughter, Bill and Rosemary Phillips and Christy Miller simply wanted to help the people. Helping next year’s campaign is just another way they are doing that.

“I felt that if we made goal, it was only right to help next year’s chairmen to get off on the right foot,” Rosemary Phillips said. “We can’t thank Marion County enough for their generosity.”

And we couldn’t agree more. Time and time again, we are impressed with how this county pulls together for a good cause. And what better cause than raising funds for 22 social service and community agencies?

There may have been a moment of doubt that the goal would be met, but it was a fleeting moment as Marion County came through like it always does.

“We had so many people in need, and I was very concerned we would not reach goal,” Phillips said. “But Marion County citizens came through, and people who we wouldn’t think would help us ended up helping us.”

Goal would never have been met without that strong support that Marion County is always willing to give to help neighbors and people within the community. That support may have been through a payroll deduction or a one-time monetary gift to help meet goal. It may have come through the Denim for a Difference campaign, in which businesses encouraged employees to wear jeans to work for a donation.

It could have been the students of the county’s four strongest campaign-supporting schools, Marion County Adult and Community Education Center, East Dale Elementary School, East Fairmont Junior High School and East Fairmont High School.

Or it could have been one of the 9,000 visitors to the Celebration of Lights, a project of the South Fairmont Rotary that benefits the United Way now in its fifth year. This week, Butch Phillips, of South Fairmont Rotary, presented the United Way with a check for $20,000.

But that support is always there for the United Way, year in and year out. And we applaud Marion County for it.

We also applaud the Phillips family for rallying that support as well as the executive board of this year’s campaign, including president Ryan Ford.

They say that a new season starts the day after after the final game. Well a new campaign for the United Way has already begun, with behind-the-scene groundwork being laid. The torch has been passed on, and we know the 2014 campaign is capable of being as successful as those in the past.