The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

January 11, 2013

Meeting the need Giving spirit of region puts United Way over lofty goal

A half-million dollars.

It was a lofty fundraising goal for the United Way of Southern West Virginia.

But as 2012-2013 campaign chair Richard Jarrell said, “... it’s not about the goal, it’s about the need.”

Mission accomplished.

It was announced this week that the local chapter of the United Way had reached its goal of $500,000, which will pay for many worthwhile programs.

The United Way of Southern West Virginia serves 32 nonprofit organizations in the region.

Also on Wednesday, a donation of $10,000 was received from Crossroads Chevrolet, tipping the total number over the goal.

But what was amazing about the scene was this: Crossroads, a new car dealership to the area, chose to get involved and invested in the community. All the while, there were other car dealers — competitors if you will, present for the ceremony. Dealers that have given their own time and funds toward the United Way for months.

But for this day — this effort — they were all on the same team. Striving to a common goal — to help struggling southern West Virginia families.

That’s the kind of spirit that makes our region great.

It’s in times like these, that we are able to see the best in our people.

And ... you have to hand it to the folks with our local United Way.

They’ve come up with a variety of ways to raise money, and awareness in our communities.

“We worked, danced, swung golf clubs and even wrecked motorcycles in the armory,” Jarrell said with a chuckle.

Getting the public involved in what the local United Way is doing has not been an issue, especially with Executive Director Margaret O’Neal involved.

Whether it’s driving home an important message or raising much-needed funds for a host of charitable functions, O’Neal is a fantastic leader who tirelessly engages business leaders and the community with many entertaining and inspiring functions throughout the year.

Our area is very fortunate to have the United Way of Southern West Virginia answering the needs of those less fortunate than most.

We honor their commitment in making our region a better place, every day.

But just as the needs are many, most never end.

That’s why Frank Wood, our publisher, has been named chairman for the 2013-2014 campaign.

We are grateful for the donors who have participated in this fine work and ask that you continue to support our community through giving to the United Way.

To those who have not yet become involved, we challenge you to become a part of an outstanding team that impacts so many.

You’ll likely have a lot of fun along the way.

But most of all, you’ll sow good seed in fertile soil that has already been tilled expertly.

So we’ll see another great harvest of good deeds this time next year.