There’s still time to help United Ways

You friends and neighbors need your help, and time is running out

The annual fundraising campaigns of the United Ways that service our area on nearing an end, and that means volunteers and campaign officials are making a final push to ensure their goals are met.

The United Way of Jefferson County has received pledges totaling 80 percent of its goal of $440,000. while pledges for the Weirton United Way stand at 86 percent of its goal of $280,000. The United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley, which serves Brooke County, is working to meet it s goal of $777,777.

Money donated to the local United Ways benefits our area in so many ways. Here are just a few examples: The A.L.I.V.E. shelter, for instance, offers help to those who suffer from abuse. Mingo Social Services assists with utilities, food and the cost of prescription medication. A Caring Place Child Advocacy Center works with local law enforcement and children services in providing a multidisciplinary team approach for children with pending allegations of sexual or physical abuse. The City Rescue Mission provides 24-hour emergency housing, meals, clothing and other housing necessities.

Campaign officials with each United Way are working tirelessly to ensure their goals are met. For example, volunteers with the United Way of Jefferson County plan to work a phone bank from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Eastern Gateway Community College in an effort to round up every last dollar. In Weirton, meanwhile, area residents are being asked to attend the second-annual Pre-Super Bowl Party Feb. 2 at the Knights of Columbus Hall.

The stakes are great – if the campaigns fall short of their goals, boards of the local United Ways could be forced to go to each of their member agencies and inform them that they will not be receiving as much money as they had anticipated. Faced with an unexpected budget cut, many agencies would have no choice but to reduce their services.

That’s an unacceptable scenario.

The good news is that each and every area resident can still do his or her part to ensure the goals are met and vital services continue to be provided.

If you have already given to a United Way campaign, know that your contribution is very much appreciated. If you have yet to contribute, we would remind you that your donation remains very much needed.

It’s the least we can do for our friends and neighbors.