By Alexander Curchin
Special to The Globe
JOPLIN, Mo. —
As a lifelong United Way supporter, volunteer and donor, I am delighted and grateful to live in a community that cares deeply about its residents.
All of us were witness to that in 2011 as we saw neighbor helping neighbor and the tireless efforts of countless organizations, churches and nonprofit agencies. In “emergency response mode” we proved that our community will survive the worst and will build a better tomorrow for ourselves. We must continue that spirit and tradition.
Since 1926, the staff and volunteers of our local United Way have been quietly caring for those in our region who live in emergency mode daily.
Today in Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas, more than 40,000 citizens live below the poverty line. One in five is uninsured. An estimated 14,200 children are at risk of hunger. An increasing number of individuals and families experience homelessness each year. I support the United Way because it is the largest nongovernmental source of human services funding and unites leaders from social services, small businesses, corporations, government and our community who create solutions to the most critical problems faced by our neighbors. The United Way is the place we go to take care of each other. Most importantly, the dollars pledged here are used here.
The United Way of Southwest Missouri & Southeast Kansas is deeply appreciative of the numerous individuals and businesses who have given generously to support the 2012 United Way campaign. So far, 53 percent of the $1.3 million goal has been raised to assist the 35 member agencies whose vital programs support our community’s needs. But we need your help.
I urge you to act today. If you plan to support the campaign, please do so as soon as possible. If you have not donated in the past, please consider giving to the United Way. It is a faithful steward of the donations it receives. The United Way is dedicated to its mission of providing the voluntary leadership to identify the human service needs of the community and coordinate the delivery of available resources to meet those needs. Your gift will help provide food and shelter to those who need it, help increase quality education across the region, and provide more access to health care and the tools for families and individuals to be self-sufficient.
Please contact our United Way team in Joplin or Pittsburg by calling 417-624-0153. Let’s achieve this goal together and finish strong by investing in our community. Please join us, Live United, and support the United Way campaign.
Alexander B. Curchin is a municipal judge. He lives in Joplin.