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Letter: United Way needs your help

To the editor:

Since 2000, United Way of Goodhue, Wabasha & Pierce Counties has re-invested more than $4.9 million locally to benefit the lives of your friends and neighbors. This is possible because of your financial investment in our work to improve lives and strengthen communities in the Upper Mississippi River Valley.

With our annual local United Way campaign coming to an end, we are making the final push to reach our ambitious goal of raising $550,000 to support local programming and people in 2018-19. Today we are $75,000 short of reaching our goal, and we need your help.

Needs are increasing in our area. Each week, we feed 469 children in seven school districts through Packing for the Weekend program, yet there continues to be a waiting list of families with not enough to eat. They need to be added to the program. We currently have 1,200 children enrolled in our Imagination Library Program, receiving books each month, yet many more would like to enroll. Due to cost, we are forced to limit the number of children we can serve.

Outside of our organization we have 31 local programs applying for over $300,000 of funding. We will not be able to meet all of those requests with our current campaign results. This lack of funding will impact many, perhaps even someone you care about.

Giving locally

Your donation goes far ... but not far away.

United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. At United Way GWP, we focus on health, education, economic mobility, hunger and basic needs. More than 25,000 local people are being served right now through United Way initiatives, community partner programs and partnerships.

"At the end of the day, what's important is not the dollar amount, it's what that final campaign number represents. It's a family, a child, a friend, a neighbor or a colleague who's going to be turned away for help when they need it the most. That is what not achieving the goal means to me." — Maureen Nelson, executive director

If the gap between the campaign results and the campaign goal does not close, funding for grants to support local programs and initiatives will be less than in the past. In order to bridge the gap of $75,000, it will take the combined effort of everyone throughout our service area. If you have not yet made a donation, please consider making one today. No gift is too small to make a difference in achieving the goal and ensuring the great work of our local partner agencies can continue.

Will you please join us and make an investment in your community through United Way GWP? Donations can be made through our website at or by calling our office at 651-388-6309. The annual campaign runs through Feb. 15, 2018. Funds received after that date will go toward our next campaign.

United Way Board of Directors

Ethan Seaberg, president, Red Wing

Patti Robertson, vice president, Red Wing

Liz Diggins, treasurer, Red Wing

Board members:

Jackie Anderson, Bay City

Tristan English, Red Wing

Bert Flynn, Bay City

Jamie Kells, Red Wing

Lisa Kuehl, Red Wing

Bonnie Lodermeier, Cannon Falls

Kim O'Reilly, Goodhue

Clare Pavelka, Lake CIty

Andrew Peterson, Red Wing

Jessica Seide, Red Wing

Susan Stiene, Lake City

Corey Tauer, Red Wing