During the many years that I have been a volunteer for the United Way and the Campaign Coordinator at my workplace, one question I hear frequently is, “Why should I give to the United Way when I can just give to the one charity I care about the most?” How do I respond? First, I assure them that I am not trying to discourage them from giving to individual charities. But for those people who are concerned about the overall well-being of our community, the United Way is the answer.
When you think about it, the social needs in our community are very much interrelated. No one charity or organization is going to solve all the needs that affect even one life. Individuals served by United Way supported programs often need the services from multiple programs to make a sustainable impact on their lives and, often, on their family members. Let’s take Daniel for example. Daniel is a 10 year old boy living with a single-parent mother. Daniel attends the Boys and Girls Club* 3 days per week, and 2 days per week he receives tutoring at the Danville Church-Based Tutorial* program for special reading and math assistance. Daniel’s mother works two part-time jobs. She does not qualify for insurance with either position, however her income level prevents her from receiving Medicaid. Recently she became ill and was diagnosed at The Free Clinic of Danville* with cardio-vascular disease. She continues to receive free medical care at the Free Clinic, preventing trips to the Emergency Room at the hospital. To acquire new skills that would allow her to work one job and spend more time with her son, Daniel’s mom has enrolled in computer classes at Goodwill’s Career Center*. Until then, she has applied to Big Brothers Big Sisters* for a Big Brother for Daniel so that he can have a positive male role model in his life. She is also looking for a Boy Scout* troop for Daniel to join that will allow him to try new things, build his self-confidence, and give Daniel the opportunity to provide service to others.
Daniel and his mom’s story illustrates how important it is that multiple resources are available in our community so that each and every one of us can grow and thrive. By giving to the United Way, your donation can make even more of a difference by providing multiple services that meet multiple needs.
Thank you for helping us make a difference since 1922.
Chair, Board of Directors
United Way of Danville-Pittsylvania County
*a United Way supported agency