The calls on the direct services and agencies supported by the United Way of Southeast Missouri have never been higher. As a new campaign to raise funds for the organization begins, it's a good time to reflect on why giving to this organization is so important.
The United Way recently highlighted a few of the challenges faced by some in our community:
* Sixty-four percent of fourth-graders in Missouri are below proficient reading levels.
* One in four Cape Girardeau County residents are not financially self-sufficient.
* Forty-one percent of single-parent households in Cape Girardeau County live in poverty.
* One in 10 seniors live in poverty.
At their recent campaign kickoff the United Way unveiled this year's fundraising goal: $950,000.
This goal is $15,000 more than what was raised last year. The majority of funds will come via workplace campaigns, many employees choosing to use the payroll deduction option. This year's goal is based in part on pledges from the United Way's top 20 contributing companies.
With the increased needs in our area, this is an important time to surpass the campaign goal. Businesses that are not participating in the payroll deduction program should consider contacting the United Way to find out how. And individuals whose employer does not participate can still support the United Way through giving or volunteering.
The challenges are daunting, but we're confident this will be another successful year for the United Way and many needs will be met.
Consider giving today.