While our board of directors ultimately determines which agencies qualify for United Way funding and how much that funding is, it is the agencies themselves and moreover the very people that desperately need those agencies’ services that determine the financial need every year.
Today, that number is greater than it has ever been. With a sharp increase in the number our friends and neighbors seeking aid and assistance during these difficult times and the reduced funding from other sources many of these agencies are facing, the call to action of the United Way of Walworth County (UWWC) is in its most urgent state. Last year, the UWWC collected over $269,000 for the 43 agencies it supported. This year, that number has spiked to $351,000 for 44 agencies.
The 44 agencies are not the only agencies that sought help. They were the groups that met the qualifications of the UWWC. But realize, there were several others with as great a need that fell short in the other areas of requirement. The $351,000 is also a large number to consider – especially during these trying times, but please know, that number could have been double had we thought it was an attainable goal. We are currently 30% of the way to reaching that goal. Your help is desperately needed to get to 100%.
I’ve talked with many people who have been supporters of United Way, either through the Delavan-Darien, Geneva Lakes or in its current form, that, to a person, echo the same message, “There but for the grace of God go I.” The fact that they have steady work, a positive family structure and relatively manageable life issues, while so many more people these days do not, motivates them to reach out in ways they may not have in the past.
I am asking for your help. Please take a moment to fill out the donation card mailed to your home, call the UWWC office at (262) 374-4474 for additional information on ways to help, visit the UWWC website at www.UW-WC.org to donate directly online or talk to your employer about starting a workforce campaign. The UWWC fund drive lasts through December when we will stop soliciting until next September. We will always remain open to accepting more contributions beyond that date, but you won’t be approached with additional mailers throughout the rest of the year.
Let me leave you with a few numbers that still resonate with me daily and motivate me to remain vigilant in my work with UWWC.
- Over 14,000 of our friends and neighbors in Walworth County are living in poverty.
- Over 10,000 of our residents are without a job.
- Over nine children a day face violence, abuse or neglect.
- 175 friends and neighbors now find themselves waking up at the homeless shelters in Walworth County and countless others are wishing they were instead of sleeping in their cars, hoping to quickly move up on the waiting list.
- Over 33,000 of our friends and neighbors in Walworth County are assisted by the 44 agencies your United Way contribution goes to support. That’s one in three people in this county.
I am constantly amazed at the generosity of the people of Walworth County. Thank you in advance for your attention, your generosity and the love you show to our friends and neighbors in need. Every single dollar is a gift. Thank you to those who have contributed already and to those who are moved to do so in the future. At the end of the day, there is nothing more rewarding than to know you’ve helped someone else.
President of Stebnitz Builders
Chairman of the United Way of Walworth County