My Turn: Give a little, gain a lot

  • By JIM STRADER
  • Wednesday, October 21, 2015 1:04am
  • Opinion

As many of you already know, this year’s United Way Fall Campaign is underway. Giving is a very personal choice. It’s an experience that unites individuals and communities. When we freely give something to someone, we connect with them on an intimate level and express that we genuinely care. We give in hopes that we can make a positive difference in someone’s life.

For some of us, the biggest problem we encounter with giving is being unsure of where to give. That’s where United Way makes a really big difference.

All of us have an internal desire to help others, but often we don’t know where to direct our efforts. United Way provides community members with a simple solution through the workplace campaign utilizing payroll deductions. It allows donors to choose the amount per paycheck they would like to contribute to United Way or to one of our partner agencies. Giving through United Way provides community members with the opportunity to help others in a way that doesn’t require extra effort. That’s the beauty of payroll deductions. They occur automatically and only require taking action once a year. Those of us who participate will tell you that we absolutely never miss that deduction from our paycheck.

It’s important to keep in mind that small donations help in big ways. The donation of just $1 a week provides $52 a year, which would pay for nutritious meals for five individuals in a shelter. Just $5 a week provides $260 a year, which covers the cost for two campers at scout camp, or provides a safe environment for an individual experiencing domestic violence for an entire month. Your gift of only $10 per week adds up to $520 per year, and could provide a six-week GED preparation course for five adults.

United Way offers the mechanism to focus your gift in the area or areas of your choosing. When donating, you can choose from any of the 33 partner agencies, or donate to any of United Way’s three focus areas: education, income and health.

Giving through United Way provides all of us with the means to build upon and strengthen the efforts of agencies working to improve the health, education and income stability in the communities of Southeast Alaska. Knowing that your gift will benefit local communities makes United Way an excellent choice.

Please call 907-463-5530 or visit www.UnitedWaySEAK.org for more information.

• Jim Strader is the director of community relations and marketing at Bartlett Regional Hospital and co-chairman of the fall campaign effort with United Way.

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