United Way invests your donations in local impact

Feb. 05, 2013 @ 12:54 PM

Did you know that you can be a hero to someone in need?

It’s true.  United Way is not just about businesses doing their part.  While corporate campaigns are the most efficient way for us to fundraise, even the largest campaign is simply a community of individual donors banding together to make a difference.

And regardless of gift size, every donor does make a difference.  In fact, of our nearly 55,000 donors last year, 47,772 of you gave between $1 and $500.  As a result of those gifts, small and big, nearly 352,000 people are being helped this year through United Way partner agencies in our five-county region.

One of my favorite examples is your neighbor, Mary Clyburn.  After being helped by Turning Point in Monroe, and Community Link in Charlotte, Mary is now a very grateful donor.  As she said in our video, “It ain’t much, but $2 a week comes out of my check, to the United Way, so hopefully those $2 can bless someone like I was blessed.”

(If you haven’t heard Mary’s story, please go here to watch it – you’ll be glad you did: uwcentralcarolinas.org/marys-story)

$2 makes a big difference – not because of the amount, but because it’s combined with gifts from thousands of other donors committed to making a positive local impact.

There are others just like Mary who still need your help – and it’s not too late!  We need to close a $500,000 gap for this year’s campaign prior to our Valentine’s Day deadline.  Some key donors are willing to dig deeper with major gifts, but they can’t close the gap on their own.  The only way we’ll get there is if others chip in, dollar by dollar.

Of course, our work doesn’t end on Valentine’s Day – that’s actually when the real work begins, as local community investment councils determine where your donations are most needed.  Funds will go to 19 Union County agencies like Turning Point, as well as others like Community Link, which is located in Charlotte but serves those in need across county lines.

No matter which of our three core areas that these partner agencies address – Children & Youth, Health & Mental Health, or Housing & Stability – each United Way agency achieves greater results when they collaborate with other agencies, because community needs are always intertwined.

 With the help of many great partners across Union County, we’re creating solutions that truly move the dial on our most critical issues, locally and regionally.  For example, United Way agencies provided food, clothing, heat, utilities, and rent/mortgage assistance to nearly 1,100 Union County individuals and families in crisis.

If you’ve already donated to United Way’s current campaign, you have my deepest gratitude!  Given the growing needs in Union County, would you consider digging a little deeper?  And if you haven’t made a gift, I ask you to please consider playing a part.

 Thank you – not just from United Way, but from the thousands of our neighbors in need, and from the wonderful agencies that are helping turn their lives around.


• Richard Heins is the regional vice president in charge of the Union County office of United Way of Central Carolinas.  To contribute to the campaign, go to uwcentralcarolinas.org/give or call the Monroe office at (704) 283-1537.