It’s that time of year again. Footballs flying. Leaves falling. Wallets opening.
United Way of the Midlands has kicked off its annual campaign with a goal of raising $24 million to help our less fortunate neighbors.
There are many good reasons to donate, starting with: 89,228. That’s the number of individuals who received assistance for short-term needs from programs that got United Way funding last year.
Here’s another: Nearly 76,000. That’s how many calls were made to United Way’s 2-1-1 call center, looking for help with housing, utilities, food, physical and mental health problems, transportation, clothing.
And another: United Way works with 134 individual programs, all with the aim of creating permanent and positive change for local families.
United Way of the Midlands, which covers the Omaha-Bellevue-Council Bluffs area, maximizes the value of contributions it receives by keeping its costs low, and its annual campaign is an efficient one, with area employers helping shoulder the administrative load and fundraising expense.
Importantly, United Way also follows a rigorous protocol in deciding which programs receive these funds. A group of 130 local volunteers review funding requests, visit each program and examine their results.
This year’s fundraising goal isn’t pie-in-the-sky. It’s achievable. Last year’s campaign raised $23.1 million.
Midlanders are generous. More than 75,000 people and 1,000 companies typically pledge their support because giving to United Way of the Midlands is a good way to make a difference in our community.