The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

November 11, 2013

United Way helping seniors, others in community

United Way column

By Frank Wood

— Seniors are the world’s fastest-growing population.

By 2050, it’s expected that the number of people age 65 and older will more than double, representing 21 percent of the population. Senior population growth in southern West Virginia is in step with the global trend.

And the United Way is helping to make sure that older adults can continue to play crucial roles in our community while living safe, independent lives.

For most seniors, it’s important to be able to continue living at their homes for as long as possible. In order to do so safely, however, older adults may need meal assistance or delivery or homemaker services.

Older adults also benefit from daily activity. That’s why the United Way and its partner agencies provide older adults with a place to go during the day to enjoy fitness activities, games, volunteer work, arts and crafts, community trips and more. Promoting the well-being of seniors helps our community as a whole.

While the United Way tackles issues based on local needs, common focus areas include helping children and youth succeed, improving access to health care, promoting self-sufficiency and strengthening families.

To achieve measurable, lasting change in our region of southern West Virginia we try to identify to build on communal strengths and assets: help individuals and groups with specific community interests find ways to contribute their time and talents by supporting service programs that develop health and wellness.

It takes a whole community working together to reach these goals. So, you could say the United Way brings together people from all across the community — people from government, business, churches and nonprofits, as well as ordinary citizens.

If it requires fundraising, going to City Hall or just getting people to work together, that’s what the United Way does.

Donations to the United Way of Southern West Virginia provide sustainable, long-term resources to advance its mission to improve a community’s most vital human needs. Through your support of the annual campaign, you help solve the problems of today and have an impact on the future, such as improving high school graduation rates and providing vital medication for the uninsured.

Giving to the United Way — especially through its Annual Workplace Campaign — remains the easiest and most powerful way to invest in southern West Virginia communities.

Not simply a funding entity, the United Way is itself an active community organization. It believes that local residents will not only lend a helping hand, but also will encourage their neighbors to help their neighbors, and those neighbors to help their neighbors, and so on.

Residents of southern West Virginia will rise to the challenge. We always do.

And as a supporter of the United Way today, you will ensure that the organization is able to tackle similar issues in the future with the same level of strength and resolve.


Special holiday showing at Lewis Automotive Pre-Owned Superstore showroom:

- Wonderland of Trees and Silent Auction: Margaret Ann O’Neal, executive director of the United Way, said, “For those who shy away from the live auction events, the tabletop trees and wreaths are up for silent auction the next two weeks. All you have to do is drop by the Lewis Automotive Pre-Owned Showroom on Appalachian Drive in Beckley and place your bid in a box.”

To support the United Way of Southern West Virginia, you can cast a vote for the People’s Choice Tree. Your $1 donation also registers you for a 32-inch TV from National TV and Appliance. The Wonderland of Trees is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily and from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

— United Way of Southern West Virginia 2013-2014 Campaign Chair Frank Wood is publisher of Beckley Newspapers.