United Way goal is still within reach

Saturday, February 3, 2007

It's bitterly cold outside, but all the more reason for staying in a comfortable place to watch this weekend's Super Bowl festivities.

We snuggle warm in our beds at night, listening to the furnace run and wondering, absent mindedly, what the natural gas tally will be next month.

We flip the light switch, and are rewarded with instant illumination -- unless we were among the unfortunate who were stranded without electricity for weeks as a result of the New Year's Eve ice storms. Even so, most Nebraskans have the power back on by now.

If we're more interested in football than the obscenely expensive Super Bowl commercials, we head for the refrigerator for a snack or a beverage, provided we've taken the time before pre-game show starts to make a trip to the grocery store. There was plenty of fuel in the SUV to drive there, of course, and the printer happily sputtered out a receipt after we swiped our ATM card through the reader.

That's how this weekend will be, for most of us.

But suppose there wasn't enough gasoline to make it to the next town, where a friend of a friend promised a part-time job that might help you make a new start.

Or, you were a small child, caught in a nasty custody battle, wanting only to feel secure and loved, not knowing that an impersonal system held your fate in its hands.

What if you were an adult who needed to know how to read or learn English to make a better living, or an abused spouse in desperate need of refuge and support?

Even if you had a solid family, what if you were a child who wanted to play soccer or take part in a youth activity your family just couldn't afford?

Those are just a few of the kinds of problems your donations to the McCook United Way can help solve.

So far, the people of the McCook area have always responded generously.

But this year, the United Way drive has fallen a little short -- about 10 percent below its goal of $91,900 in donations and pledges for the coming year, in fact.

Unless something is done, and soon, members of the United Way board will have to deliver some bad news to agencies that are already counting on their support.

Fewer needy people will be helped on their way. Some children might not receive the services they require. There will be fewer services for adults in crisis.

Similar stories will apply to all the agencies United Way supports, such as the Commmodity Supplemental Food Program, Headstart, Homeless Prevention Program, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Family Resource Center, Adult Basic Education, Swatters 4-H Club, Domestic Abuse/Sexual Assault Services, Salvation Army, YMCA, Lutheran Family Services, CEDARS, TeamMates, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Live Y'Ers.

Let's not let them down. Ten percent of $91,900 is a goal we can reach if enough of us make enough of a sacrifice -- giving up a few snacks we shouldn't eat anyway would probably do it. Contact any United Way board member -- Randy Chambers, Jim Hull, the Rev. Sam Silliams, Russ DeLong, Mark Searcey, Lyle Brown, Charlotte Dunworth, Barb Bortner and Penny Johnson, drive chairwoman Sheila Hosick, accountant Dan Miller or United Way coordinator Linda Schiffelbein, to make a donation.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: