It's fitting that Deb and Deke Kathman, the 2013 United Way Campaign co-chairs, are focusing the annual campaign on the agency's success stories.
Everyone has a story, and nowhere is that more evident than the annual United Way campaign.
The United Way supports agencies who deal every day with people from nearly every walk of life in southern Chautauqua County. The United Way helps veterans with difficulty getting around who receive meals from Meals on Wheels and senior citizens who have gotten involved in the community after attending Chautauqua Adult Day Care. They are regular people who need a little help to make ends meet, people whose vision is failing and need the services of the Chautauqua Blind Association, those who found help through the 211 hotline or the hundreds of youth who take part in Boy and Girl scouts or programs at the YMCA or YWCA.
Every one of the 18 United Way agencies has hundreds of similar success stories and stories of people whose lives have been made better by volunteering and being involved in their community. The United Way is a volunteer-driven organization, from the donors who give every year to members of the allocation panels who visit each United Way agency to make sure the agency should receive United Way support. The support of such dedicated volunteers means the United Way is able to invest its money in the local community, not in staff and operations for some far away headquarters.
Creating community success stories requires the community's help. The United Way is asking the community for $1.315 million this year, and those who are able should consider pitching in both with campaign donations and with their time - either through the United Way or any of the countless community organizations the United Way helps that are in need of dedicated volunteers.
You won't regret it.
For more information about the United Way or the 2013 campaign, call the United Way at 483-1561, visit www.uwayscc.org, find the United Way on Facebook by searching for United Way of Southern Chautauqua County or follow the United Way on Twitter at @uwayscc.