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As noted on the front page of this newspaper a couple of weeks ago - and by the signs across the community - United Way of Perry County's annual fund-raising drive is under way.
United Way hopes to raise $125,000 to support nearly 20 groups that provide a wide range of services within our community and few of us aren't touched each year by the groups who rely on United Way for a portion of their funding.
United Way donations support our young people through 4-H and Scouting, serve those with special needs and provide emergency care to our own when fire, storms or other disasters strike. The campaign also helps support local food pantries and providers of medical and crisis services.
The chances are good that all of us or someone we care about has directly benefited from United Way's support in our county.
United Way has a decades-old record of supporting nonprofit groups in our county and many of us are familiar with their work. What makes gifts to United Way unique is that each dollar supports so many groups. Of course, bequests can be designated to a particular agency or group of agencies, but most of us know that all of the groups do much-needed work in the community.
The United Way of Perry County has been active in a number of community-service areas, including coordination of programs that collect and distribute gifts for children during the holidays and its Stuff the Bus Program, has helped ensure students have the tablets, pencils, crayons and other supplies they need to begin the school year.
Because there are ways to give other than money, United Way sponsors annual Days of Caring, giving volunteers an opportunity to contribute hands-on help to United Way agencies. This year's goal is a sizable one, especially considering the tough economic times we're in.
Gifts of all sizes are needed and will go a long way to helping United Way reach its goal and first-time givers will see their donations matched by the Indiana Association of United Ways.
A gift of any size counts and can mean the world of difference for someone in need or for a young person finding direction and guidance through 4-H or Scouting or who is recovering from a fire or the loss of a job.
To make your gift, call the United Way of Perry County at 547-2577 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information is available at www.unitedwayperryco.org .