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United Way kicks off fall fundraising campaign

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — In the middle of winter, a mother clings to her newborn baby in their cold living room. She recently lost her job, and the little money she earned paid off medical bills.

That leaves her without money to pay for utilities, including heat for her home.

A grandfather’s face turns every shade of red when he stumbles over words on a restaurant menu while out to lunch with his grandchildren.

He watches as the children breeze through the menu and order, while he is forced to order a steak because that is a common restaurant item.

He cannot read and doesn’t know how to attain a basic skill he never learned.

A teenager sits in the school cafeteria, noticing shifting stares and uneasy “hellos.” He uses his spoon to play with the food on his tray.

He knows he is overweight and needs to lead a healthy lifestyle but has no idea where to begin.

Addressing these issues and more are paramount to United Way of the River Cities’ core mission, which is to make the community a better place for its citizens.

Often, this doesn’t involve Band-Aid fixes, but the involvement of people, time, and resources to help locate and solve the problem from the foundation and beyond.

United Way of the River Cities encourages community members to give during the 2012 workplace campaign season, which kicked off Tuesday.

Even the smallest donation can go a long way in helping provide solutions to these critical issues and more.

By investing toward the set $1.25-million fundraising goal, community members will help make a difference in the lives of many throughout Cabell, Wayne, Mason and Lincoln counties in West Virginia and Lawrence County, Ohio.

“It’s important to know that the goal isn’t just a goal,” said Scott Neill, United Way director of resource development. “With the money raised during the campaign, we are able to fund a number of programs implemented by health and human services agencies. These programs are in the areas of education, income, health and safety net services. The more money we raise, the more we can distribute toward funded partner programs. This ensures that we are making the maximum community impact and targeting key issues within our community. We encourage everyone to give, and we appreciate each donation — no matter the amount.”

To give during the 2012 workplace campaign, visit www.giveunitedway.org. Contact Scott Neill at scott.neill@unitedwayrivercities.org or 304-523-8929, ext. 2.