The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

September 24, 2013

Please give to United Way | Region has many needs to be met

JOHNSTOWN — Their needs are many and mounting. But thankfully, the region’s less fortunate, troubled and ailing have an ally in the United Way of the Laurel Highlands.

In an attempt to meet all the needs of the needy, the United Way has embarked on an ambitious capital campaign to raise $1.1 million in the next several months. The lofty initiative was announced recently at United Way’s kickoff breakfast.

“If I had to sum up the 2013 campaign in one word, it would be ‘impact,’ ” Rebecca Styles, chairwoman of this year’s campaign who also is president and general manager of Lockheed Martin AeroParts, told our Dave Sutor. “All efforts are focused on making an impact.”

Lockheed Martin AeroParts made its own impact when it pledged $10,000 to the capital campaign.

United Way will focus its financial resources on five essential areas: helping children and youth succeed, supporting and strengthening families, promoting self-sufficiency, supporting vulnerable and aging populations, and championing health and wellness.

United Way’s dedicated army of volunteers will try to impact the agency’s goal as they set out on yet another fundraiser. The accomplished volunteers know exactly what it takes financially to complete their mission. They will be appealing to long-time United Way organizations, businesses and their employees, and individuals to help them meet their lofty goal.

“Every year is different with the United Way campaign,” Bill McKinney, United Way of the Laurel Highlands president, told Sutor. “I have the pleasure – our staff and our volunteers – have the pleasure of working with so many dynamic people in the community that want to give back. This year is no exception.”

Area residents can throw their support into the mix. Every donation, no matter how large or small, adds up as United Way strives to meet its $1.1 million goal. The money will help United Way’s 27 partner agencies throughout Cambria and Somerset counties.

The Laurel Highlands chapter will focus on three areas of family problems: disengaged parents, drug and alcohol abuse, and lagging support for early childhood development.

“In this nation, in order to pursue your dreams and to succeed, you have to be educated,” said U.S. District Judge Kim Gibson, the breakfast’s keynote speaker. “Disengaged parents and drug and alcohol abuse are two factors in people not succeeding in school.”

We all know someone who could use a helping hand. Maybe it’s a family member or neighbor. Maybe it’s someone you know from your house of worship. Or maybe you know of someone from your child’s school. It could even be a co-worker. Won’t you please find it in your heart to help the less fortunate in our area? Please donate willingly when a United Way volunteer comes knocking.

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