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Editorial: United Way needs you

It’s time to pitch in for the Rowan County United Way.

Time was, as Clyde the artist would say, every agency and nonprofit in town was on its own to raise money. Sink or swim. Some organizations spent nearly as much time fundraising as delivering services. Area residents faced nonstop requests for donations, over and over and over again.

At some point, someone said there must be a better way — and there was. It’s called the United Way. In case you’ve never understood what United Way does, this is a good time to find out.

The Rowan County United Way holds a campaign each fall to raise money for 16 agencies. The drive does not supply all the money the agencies need to operate, but it lightens their fundraising burden.

United Way relies a great deal on companies to conduct campaigns at the workplace, where groups of employees can hear about United Way and decide whether to support it. Individual appeals are also made to professionals and others. Most people who hear the appeal make pledges that, with their permission, are paid through payroll deduction.

They make donations to 16 agencies at once without writing a single check.

The agencies that receive funds through United Way are the backbone of the community. They include services for young and old, help for people in emergencies or crisis, support for families trying to build a better life — and more.

For the record, here’s the list of Rowan agencies: Boy Scouts, Communities in Schools, Smart Start, YMCA, Rufty-Holmes Senior Center, Trinity Living Center, Families First, Family Crisis Council, Literacy Council, Arc, Rowan Vocational Opportunities, Red Cross, Rescue Squad, Salvation Army — and designees Capstone Recovery and Jobs for Life.

The Rowan County United Way needs everyone’s help to reach its $1.6 million goal this year. The campaign kicked off on Sept. 14 under the leadership of John Struzick of Innospec. Usually, the drive would be ending now, but hurricanes Michael and Florence — with their drain on people’s time, attention and resources — pushed the grand finale to Nov. 28.

That means you still have time.

You can give to the United Way, through your company or individually. If you have questions about how to do that, call the United Way at 704-633-1802.

Last year, more than 70,000 people used the services of local United Way agencies. You have no idea how many people your gift could help.

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