The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

January 13, 2014

Collaboration addressing needs

United Way column

By Frank Wood

— Imagine for a moment that every family in southern West Virginia has a roof over their heads. And they have fresh, healthy food on the table, and money to pay their monthly bills.

The United Way’s unique approach to community problem-solving maximizes local resources and results. By pooling our individual contributions, each of us can impact a wide range of health and human service needs with one gift. This creates opportunities for a better life for all by advancing the common good through investing in education, income and health.

These are basic things that we all need for a good life: a quality education that leads to a stable job, income that can support our families and good health, including access to quality medical facilities.

Thanks to the generosity of donors and volunteers, together we are making lasting changes in southern West Virginia. The local United Way goals for 2013-2014 targeted the most pressing needs in our area and identified strategies for sustainable, long-term improvements for our region.

Each day, our organization — including the counties of Raleigh, Summers, Nicholas, Wyoming and Fayette — attempts to improve the lives of men, women and children.

Through the work of our partners and collaboration with local businesses, faith groups and charities, we are addressing these critical needs and providing the support and resources required to solve problems related to poverty and deprivation.

To make the biggest possible improvements in the lives of people in southern West Virginia, the community needs a coordinated effort that focuses on its most pressing issues — and find strategies for making a long-term difference.

With that in mind, the United Way of Southern West Virginia wants to help the community develop bold, measurable goals that organizations and individuals across the area can get behind and support.

So we partnered with 34 agencies to determine not just needs but concrete ways to deliver solutions to improve the lives of the people in our community. Then the United Way team, along with key leaders and volunteers, synthesized the findings and formulated a plan to assist the 34 agencies through your contributions.

In other words, we sought to develop a vision that would serve as a beacon of hope for those in need of assistance. And to become a guidepost leading to our targeted endpoint: reaching those who would benefit most from your donations and support.

And as we have said before, now is the time of year that we gather our thoughts and reflect upon the people, experiences and things in our lives, and show our gratitude for all of our blessings. We want you to know how much we appreciate all you do to help us create real, lasting change in our community. You play a valuable role in helping kids and families succeed.

We just received an $8,383 donation from The Resort at Glade Springs, one of our many generous United Way supporters in the area. The large donation was possible because of people in the community who supported Glade’s annual Fright Nights this past year and the management of Glade made a contribution on behalf of everyone who participated in that event. This most recent donation will go a long way in helping us reach our goal of $525,000 this year.

Like Glade, you too can be proud of your gift to the United Way of Southern West Virginia, which, by the way, is tax-deductible. If you have not donated, call today, 304-253-2111, or simply go online at The address for a mailed contribution is: United Way of Southern West Virginia, P.O. Box 5456, Beckley, WV 25801.

We know that together, united with our 34 agency partners, donors, volunteers, and community leaders, we are addressing our community’s most significant challenges.

We all need basic things for a good life, and with your help, we make the lives of so many people better. Together we are making lasting changes that benefit all of us.

— United Way of Southern West Virginia 2013-2014 Campaign chair Frank Wood is the publisher of The Register-Herald.