Good morning, Register-Herald readers. Welcome to the 18th edition of “Philanthropy is Alive and Well in Southern West Virginia.”

Brrr!! At the time I’m writing this article, as the song goes, the weather outside is frightful, as the temperature was plummeting into the single digits. On a brighter note there are only 73 days left until spring arrives on March 20 at 6:46 p.m. Shhh! Listening carefully, can you hear the birds chirping?

A million thanks to the people who donated blankets during the Christmas season at Crossroads Mall. They will certainly make a huge difference on a cold and frigid winter’s night keeping the chill from your bones.

There have been hundreds upon hundreds of individuals who have contributed to the United Way of Southern West Virginia during the 2014-2015 Campaign. The majority of donations received are generated from pledges made during workforce visits. Payroll deduction allows you, the donor, to set what amount is best for your budget.

On another scale of generosity is the United Way’s de Tocqueville Society which was formed nationally in 1984. Membership is only granted to individuals who contribute at least $10,000 annually to the United Way.

For several years Jerry and Deb Swanson have been de Tocqueville Society members, and joining them this year are two more couples: Shawn and Angela Ball and Dave and Elaine Darden. Are you the next couple or individual to step forward with your $10,000 contribution and become a de Tocqueville Society member? Time will tell….

The United Way of Southern West Virginia has raised 80 percent of the lofty Campaign goal of $825,000. If we do not meet our goal, the services provided by the 44 nonprofits hang in the balance. You will not let a baby go unclothed, you will not let a veteran be unhoused, you will not let the shelves of a food pantry go unstocked. When there is a need in southern West Virginia, our citizens always find a way.

• • •

Please take part in my Food Pantry Challenge. One person makes a difference, and that one person is you. To date we have received $3,260.

Mail your check to: United Way of Southern West Virginia, 104 Wilson St., P.O. Box 5456, Beckley, WV. Please mark your envelope with FP for Food Pantry.

LIVE UNITED AND GIVE UNITED!

“Philanthropy is alive and well in southern West Virginia.”

— Sherrie Hunter is chair of the United Way of Southern West Virginia’s 2014 fundraising campaign and the education director at the Raleigh County Solid Waste Authority.

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