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United Way on the job

A video camera captures an NFL player punching out his fiancee. A report to police accuses another player of abusing his son by striking him with a switch. In a rush to judgment, the entire nation publicly debates what is right and what is too much in these players’ formerly private lives.
If only some of that attention and energy could go toward helping abuse victims who are attacked far away from surveillance cameras or who have no one to notice switch marks on their legs.
In fact, there are agencies right here in Rowan County to shelter victims of domestic violence and abuse. We have agencies that spring into action when children are hurt, agencies that provide ways for older citizens to connect and thrive, agencies that assist families in crisis and train parents how to cope.
These human service agencies have something in common. They are part of the Rowan County United Way. And you can help them do their jobs by making a gift or pledge during this fall’s United Way campaign.
The campaign kicked off last week with a county fair theme, in keeping with Friday night’s opening of the Rowan County Agricultural Fair. Between the make-believe milking, the corn shucking and a priceless Minnie Pearl impersonation, the campaign had a fun-loving start. But the United Way is serious business. Last year more than half of the people in Rowan County — 73,000 of 140,000 men, women and children — used services supported by United Way. Leaders have set a goal of nearly $1.9 million this year to help 15 agencies: the American Red Cross, Arc Rowan, Boy Scouts, Communities in Schools, Families First, Family Crisis Council, Literacy Council, Meals on Wheels, Rowan Rescue Squad, Rufty-Holmes Senior Center, Salvation Army, Trinity Living Center, Vocational Opportunities, Youth Services Bureau and the Hurley Family YMCA.
That’s quite a list.
If the national media could give 24/7 coverage to the work of these agencies — if everyone saw surveillance footage of each moment United Way agencies reached out to improve someone’s life — here’s the rush to judgment that would follow: How fortunate Rowan County is to have all these caring agencies. And how easy it would be to help them all by supporting the United Way.
Be more than a spectator to the troubles of distant celebrities. Get involved locally, and help your neighbors right here in Rowan County. Give to the United Way.


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