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United Way gives back all that is put in

Want to make a difference right here in Lawrence County but don't know where to begin? You should look at United Way of the River Cities, a charitable organization that makes sure you have a voice in how your money is spent.

The organization provides funding to seven agencies in Lawrence County that affect people from all walks of life. From young to old, rich to poor, the United Way sponsors things that touch almost everyone's lives in one way or another.

From the Boy Scout troops who need some funding for a camping excursion to a special-needs child longing for the gold medal of Special Olympics to someone who is just down on their luck and needs a meal or warm coat, United Way has helped them indirectly.

The problem is the organization can only give back what the community puts into it. Last year, the United Way put more than $93,000 back into Lawrence County agencies that include the Boy Scouts, the Chesapeake Community Center, the Girl Scout Wilderness Road, Special Olympics, the United Health Foundation, the Well Child Clinic and the City Welfare Mission.

Every penny of this money was raised here in the county, that and several thousand dollars more came back to the county to help those in need. The real problem is that not enough money was generated locally. We urge the people of Lawrence County to dig deep and help this agency that tries to help so many people.

The United Way will kick off its official, "What Matters" campaign Wednesday with A Day of Caring in Huntington, W.Va.,, with an event being planned later this fall for an official kick-off in Lawrence County. The organization hopes to raise $1.3 million overall, but approximately $130,000 from Lawrence County. Every donation can be earmarked as to where you want it to go.

For more information about volunteering or donating, visit www.unitedwayrivercities.org or call (304) 523-8929.

If each and every one of us makes a small contribution, we could help the organization easily exceed this goal. We have no doubt that Lawrence Countians will rise to the challenge by chipping in and becoming part of something more important than individual needs.

Many people ask, "Why don't I just give to the individual agencies that United Way helps?" A valid question that basically comes down to the fact that United Way helps get more bang for each buck.

By pooling all the donations together and allocating to the agencies in lump sums, the organization helps stretch those dollars, something of which it is extremely proud.

How else can 18 cents purchase a pound of food? It is truly a case of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.

But it is up to each one of us to be one of those vital parts.