Editorial: Remember United Way

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 17, 2017

Communities hit by hurricanes Harvey and Irma have suffered terrible devastation, and many Americans have generously opened their wallets to help with recovery. Let’s hope relief efforts and the outpouring of compassion also spur people to step up to help each other at home.

Without strong support for United Way, we would have a disaster of our own here in Rowan County. The loss would not be on the scale of Harvey or Irma, but United Way agencies provide vital services to people in Rowan County. The agencies — and the neighbors they help — deserve full support.

Cheerwine has given Rowan residents extra incentive to increase their United Way pledges this year. The company has issued a “100 for 100” challenge as part of its centennial celebration. To give back to the community and spur more gifts, Cheerwine will match new money that comes into the campaign, dollar-for-dollar, up to $100,000. That is a monumental gift.

The giving spirit was in full swing Thursday as volunteer work crews from Daimler Trucks, Agility Fuel Systems and many other companies worked on projects at schools and agencies. Some 600 people participated, and many thousands will benefit from the work they did.

The campaign goal for this year is $1,478,000. That should be doable in a generous community like Rowan, but only with your help.

Speaking of large numbers, thousands of local lives are touched by United Way agencies each and every day — seniors  who need companionship and a hot meal, people who want to learn to read, youths who lack direction or role models, spouses who suffer abuse, children who need a strong start in life. The list goes on. Look at the list of Rowan United Way agencies and think of the people they help:

• Literacy Council

• The Arc/Rowan

• Rowan Vocational Opportunities

• Boy Scouts of Central N.C.

• Communities in Schools

• Rowan County YMCA

• Youth Services Bureau

• American Red Cross

• Rescue Squad

• Salvation Army

• Trinity Living Center

• Rufty-Holmes Senior Center

• Meals on Wheels

• Families First

• Family Crisis Council

• Smart Start

Your gift to United Way ripples out to help countless others. These agencies are part of the foundation of our community. Let’s keep them strong with a gift — an increased gift — to the Rowan County United Way.