Reaching out for campaign help

Donnelly-Jim UnitedWay


It’s not about meeting a goal; It’s about meeting a need; Today we need your help! At this time of year one of the most asked questions that I receive is: How is the United Way campaign going, how close are we to the goal and do I feel comfortable that we will make it? My normal response is: “We’re getting closer and I’m optimistic that we’ll make it.” But today my response is a little different: “As we approach the final weeks of the 2013 UWLC campaign I’m concerned that we may not be able to meet the growing needs of our community.”

While several contributors have provided an increase over last year, for a variety of reasons many of our business and workplace campaigns have come in lower than anticipated. This leaves a void that will be extremely difficult to overcome when we begin the 2014 allocation process. During my two years as the executive director of the UWLC I’ve had a front row seat and was able to experience firsthand just how important the UWLC funded agencies and the programs that they provide are to many residents within our county.

I’m concerned for the 22 non-profit United Way funded agencies that count on our financial support to provide programs that are extremely important to our community. Several are struggling due to the numerous funding cuts from federal, state and local grants. The programs provided by these agencies help people from all walks of life; rich, poor, young, old, educated, uneducated, employed, unemployed. With almost one out of every three residents in our community having a need for the help and support of one of these agencies, it’s possible that someone in your family, a friend or neighbor has been touched and helped by one of the programs that they provide.

A recent USA Today/Bipartisan Policy Center poll reflects that, “Americans by more than 2-1, say the best way to make positive changes in society today is through volunteering and financially supporting non-profit organizations.”

The United Way of Logan County works extremely hard through its 22 funded non-profit agencies to give hope and effective compassion to many local children, adults and families struggling with the cycle of poverty, poor preventative health care and inadequate education among other issues running rampant in our community.

It’s a nostalgic time of year, and many of us can remember a time when we took care of our own, family took care of family and friends helped friends. While times have changed one fact remains: For more than 56 years, the United Way of Logan County has helped to create lasting change in our community by helping children succeed in school, ensuring that basic needs are met and by helping families become self-sufficient, providing local people with opportunities for a better life.

Best of all, 100 percent of funds raised by the United Way of Logan County stays in our community. What better way to invest than to support an organization focusing solely on local needs and local problems?

I’m asking that you join Janet and myself and embrace our best hope for community improvement by supporting the United Way of Logan County and our local nonprofits whose mission it is to take care of the special needs of our families, friends and neighbors who have fallen onto difficult times. While I would like to meet this year’s $700,000 goal before I return to retirement, to me it’s far more important that I’m able to leave my position knowing that I did my best in helping to keep our community healthy by meeting the needs of its residents.

I want to thank everyone who has already made a donation to the 2013 UWLC campaign and pass on my appreciation to each of you for the support that I’ve received during these past two years and I ask that you provide your continued support as Heidi Reser takes over for me. I’m leaving feeling good that I was able to contribute and play a role in our success.

For those who have not yet made a 2013 donation, I’m soliciting your help.

For more information about United Way or to make a tax-deductible gift before the end of the year, call 937-592-2886, mail a check to our office or donate online by visiting

“Together” we are making a difference!

James Donnelly is executive director of the United Way of Logan County through the end of the year.