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Our view: Small donations make big difference

Published: Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

Every dollar matters.

That’s the message the United Way of McHenry County wants local residents to hear as it tries to raise $1.5 million to support nonprofit agencies that help tens of thousands of county residents each year.

One in four people in McHenry County benefited last year from the programs that are sponsored by the United Way, Executive Director Steve Otten said. It funds organizations such as Family Health Partnership Clinic, Home of the Sparrow, Pioneer Center for Human Services, The Salvation Army, Senior Services Associates and 21 others.

Each of these agencies provide vital services to the counties most at-risk populations. Many of these services would not be available if not for these agencies and the funding that United Way’s campaign provides.

The United Way also funds McHenry County’s 2-1-1 service, which connects residents to a variety of human services.

The $1.5 million figure is $100,000 more than last year’s campaign raised. In these economic times, raising that much might seem like a significant challenge. But we think it’s more than doable. In fact, it’s a target we think can be exceeded.

If the estimated 150,000 employed residents of McHenry County donated just $1 a week – $52 for all of 2014 – the campaign would raise more than $7 million. Imagine the good that could be done locally with that money.

OK, we can’t reasonably expect 100 percent participation. But what about 25 percent? If just one in four workers donated $1 a week, the campaign would raise $2 million.

Of course, residents can contribute more.

The United Way partners with local businesses to make it easy to contribute through payroll deductions. If your company is not a United Way corporate partner, talk to a manager or human resources officer about it and ask that they consider becoming one. If you’re a business owner or manager and want to look into it, call the local United Way at 815-363-1377 for more information.

Residents also can call to learn how they can donate, or they can visit the United Way’s website, uwmchenry.org. You can learn more about the agencies the United Way helps fund at the website, as well.

The United Way’s reach in McHenry County is great. But it needs the community’s support.

Remember, small donations can make a big difference.

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