Generosity fills needs in our communities

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Chris Stebnitz
Wednesday, October 26, 2011

As many are aware, the United Way of Walworth County is in the middle of the 2011-12 fundraising campaign, and I am asking for your help to achieve the goals established by your friends and neighbors.

While our board of directors ultimately determines which agencies qualify for United Way funding and how much that funding is, it is the agencies themselves and moreover the very people who desperately need those agencies’ services that determine the financial need every year.

Today, that number is greater than it has ever been. With a sharp increase in the number of our friends and neighbors seeking aid and assistance during these difficult times and the reduced funding from other sources many of these agencies are facing, the call to action of the United Way of Walworth County (UWWC) is in its most urgent state. Last year, the UWWC collected more than $269,000 for the 43 agencies it supported. This year, that number has spiked to $351,000 for 44 agencies.

I’ve talked with many people who have been supporters of United Way, either through the Delavan-Darien, Geneva Lakes or in its current form, that, to a person, echo the same message, “There but for the grace of God go I.”

I am asking for your help. Please take a moment to fill out the donation card mailed to your home, call the UWWC office at (262) 374-4474 for additional information on ways to help, visit the UWWC website at www.UW-WC.org to donate directly online or talk to your employer about starting a workforce campaign. The UWWC fund drive lasts through December, when we will stop soliciting until next September. You won’t be approached with additional mailers.

Let me leave you with a few numbers that still resonate with me daily and motivate me to remain vigilant in my work with UWWC.

--More than 14,000 of our friends and neighbors in Walworth County live in poverty.

--More than 10,000 of our residents are without jobs.

--More than nine children a day face violence, abuse or neglect.

--Each day, 175 friends and neighbors find themselves waking up at the homeless shelters in Walworth County, and countless others hope to quickly move up on the waiting list instead of sleeping in their cars.

More than 33,000 of our friends and neighbors in Walworth County are assisted by the 44 agencies your United Way contribution goes to support. That’s one in three people in this county.

I am constantly amazed at the generosity of the people of Walworth County. Thank you in advance for your attention, your generosity and the love you show to our friends and neighbors in need. Every single dollar is a gift. Thank you to those who have contributed already and to those who are moved to do so in the future. At the end of the day, there is nothing more rewarding than to know you’ve helped someone else.

Chris Stebnitz is chairman of the United Way of Walworth County. Readers can contact him at chris@stebnitzbuilders.com or by phone at (262) 728-8027 or 1-800-410-8027.

Last updated: 6:39 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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