It’s time to think about giving.
No, Christmas hasn’t come early this year, but the annual campaign for United Way of Douglas County is underway.
All around the county, volunteers are working to carry the message of how United Way donations support local groups working to address community needs. The campaign, chaired this year by Mark and Marsha Buhler, hopes to raise $1.8 million to be allocated within the county. United Way currently has 29 “community partners,” that receive funding to support their efforts to promote education, health and self-sufficiency in Douglas County. Some of those groups have been associated with United Way for many years; others are relatively new agencies that are addressing changing needs within the county.
United Way also is changing and has launched a new effort in recent years to make sure precious donor dollars are directed at projects that will have the greatest impact on community needs. Agencies that receive United Way dollars are being asked to show how they are improving education, health and self-sufficiency in the county as well as how they are working with other agencies to maximize their efficiency and impact.
One of the great parts of United Way is the way it brings the community together. Businesses throughout the county are running campaigns that let their employees have a little fun while giving to a great cause. A direct mail campaign draws retirees and others into the drive, and special efforts reach out to commuters who work outside Douglas County but want their charitable dollars to benefit agencies at home.
The needs may change but they continue to be critical. “Pacesetter” campaigns and other advanced giving had raised about $300,000 before the campaign kickoff on Sept. 17, but there’s still a long way to go to a $1.8 million goal. There is no doubt every dollar donated to United Way will be put to good use. It’s a great cause that’s certainly worthy of broad community support.