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The time has come to unite to help others

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A South Marion Citizen editorial

By The Staff

United Way of Marion County has officially kicked off its 2010-11 campaign with fanfare and kickoff party at the downtown square and inside area stores with “flash mobs.”

Coming with the kickoff is a gulp of realism as this year’s campaign continues to face an unsteady local economy; the loss of some pretty big contributing businesses from past campaigns.

Yet there is a contagious spirit of optimism that always seems to revitalize that determination that caring for one another is never an impossible goal.

It has long been proven in this community that the United Way is the best way to mobilize caring power. By bringing together people from government, business, faith groups, nonprofits and ordinary citizens, a collective focus and action reaches across all barriers and allows this community to identify and address the local issues that affect all of us.

Each contribution, small and large, support the charitable agencies that are under the United Way umbrella. United Way has also taken the lead in identifying the critical needs of the community and provides the leadership and motivation required to sustain that focus as a long-term effort. Now, more than ever, this leadership and direction will support those personal commitments that are shared during the fundraising campaign.

The county’s needy and the agencies providing services to them have reached record levels due to the prolonged severity of the local economy. The challenge is that the economic factors that have created the needs have also impacted the personal economic wellbeing of many of our residents, diminishing their charitable giving capacity. But as this season’s campaigning begins, we are resolute that the strength of a community is recognized when people come together to solve problems.

When this year’s United Way campaign begins, make sure to become a part of this experience that changes lives and helps shape our community. You will discover that not only those who find themselves on the receiving end of a charitable organization are the benefactors.

In reality, that spirit of compassion and understanding is spread far beyond, to families, friends and neighbors.