Contributions promise to pay off in more ways.
Another Finney County United Way campaign is under way, with a goal of doing even more good in the community.
This year's goal of $560,000 eclipses last year's target by $10,000. Plus, four agencies were added to an already sizable list in line for United Way funds: Real Men, Real Leaders, community men who mentor and provide positive role models for fifth- and sixth-grade boys; Circles of Hope, which gives people living in poverty the skills needed to get out of poverty; Seeds of Hope, a jail ministry program that helps incarcerated and recently released individuals become contributing members of the community; and the St. Catherine Hospital Lactation Program, the hospital's breast feeding program.
It's the first campaign for new Finney County United Way Executive Director Susan Escareno, and she's understandably a bit nervous because of the loftier goal — but ready to charge forward in a community with a strong record of supporting United Way-funded agencies.
Along with the four new additions, the annual drive also benefits Miles of Smiles; Russell Child Development Center; Santa Fe Trail Council — Boy Scouts of America; Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Association; Spirit of the Plains — CASA, Inc.; Building Blocks Project through Russell Child Development Center; United Methodist Mexican-American Ministries; The Salvation Army; United Cerebral Palsy of Kansas; Garden City Recreation Commission — Playground Program; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Finney and Kearny Counties; Catholic Social Service; Community Day Care Center, Inc.; Family Crisis Services, Inc.; Finney County Retired Senior Volunteer Program; Garden City Area Chapter of the American Red Cross; Garden City Family YMCA; Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland; Habitat for Humanity; Kansas Children's Service League; and Meals on Wheels.
Most everyone or someone in their family will receive assistance from a United Way-funded agency at some point in their lives. Even those who don't see direct benefit have friends, colleagues or neighbors who do.
Prospective donors should consider how an investment in United Way will pay off in the future — especially as the list of agencies has grown to assist even more people of all ages in the community.