Op/Ed

Editorial: A $700,000 goal to reach

ANGELO LYNN

As the United Way of Addison County launches its 2022-23 annual campaign with Days of Caring event this Thursday and Saturday, it is appropriate that the goal this year was raised to $700,000 — after exceeding its static $635,000 goal for the past three years. It’s not the goal that’s important, of course, but the needs to be met.

“We feel the needs are increasing and we’ve seen great response from our community during the past few campaign years,” said United Way Development & Marketing Director Erin Reed in a recent Addison Independent interview. “We feel confident the community will step up and help us meet this goal.”

Needs will be on the rise this year partly because state and federal aid that has supported services for those most in need since the onslaught of the pandemic is winding down on a number of fronts. Higher heating needs will also mean stresses for those households with tight budgets, and higher-than-normal inflation compounds the problem. Aid for housing, utilities, food and other essentials are all getting trimmed at the federal and state levels, leaving local nonprofits to help those who find themselves facing untenable circumstances.

And that’s why the United Way and the community’s support of its $700,000 goal is so vital. That money helps over 20 area community nonprofits fill-in the gaps in funding where it’s most needed.

This year’s campaign motto is “Together We Can,” a familiar theme that appeals to the broad community’s belief that if we all pitch in and work together, we can find partial solutions to fight hunger and homelessness and other needs our neighbors sometimes face. The motto, UWAC Executive Director Helena Van Voorst says, “speaks to the power of collaboration, which is one of Addison County’s greatest strengths.”

Acting together, we can all help make Van Voorst’s statement truer than ever in a time of increased need.

Angelo Lynn

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