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Please help the United Way help others

August 21, 2018

The economy has improved significantly since the Great Recession. Yet one in six children still lives in poverty in Dane County. That’s about 15,000 girls and boys.

The United Way wants every young person to have stable housing, succeed in school and be healthy. That’s why the local nonprofit and its partners hope to build hundreds of affordable housing units for struggling families in the coming years. That’s why they tutor thousands of students in reading and math, and screen sixth-graders for anxiety and depression.

Even before children enter school, the United Way of Dane County visits hundreds of families in their homes to encourage literacy and hands-on learning to prepare for kindergarten.

The United Way does more than charity work. It steers individuals and families to better lives, while measuring its programs for success and constantly striving to improve.

So please give to this worthy organization if you can — be it money or your time. The United Way of Dane County is kicking off its annual fundraising campaign today with a “Seasons of Caring” event at the Mallards Duck Pond on Madison’s North Side. Additional volunteer projects are available throughout Dane County this week and year. You also can donate at unitedwaydanecounty.org or by calling 608-246-4350.

Volunteers plan to frame up homes and pack school supplies for low-income students today. More broadly, the United Way helps parents find and keep jobs, including criminal offenders — most of whom successfully reintegrated back into society.

The United Way works to prevent falls among the elderly. It recruits pharmacists to review their medications to avoid mix-ups, missed pills and serious side effects.

You can steer your United Way donation to a specific cause, or spread it over all of the work the nonprofit and its many partners are doing to improve our community.

The United Way of Dane County hopes to boost its fundraising campaign by about 3 percent this year to $18.85 million. It also wants to get more people involved, both at traditional job sites where employers offer to deduct contributions from paychecks, as well as at companies with employees who work remotely.

Getting at the root causes of homelessness, unemployment and truancy is difficult and takes time. But the United Way’s good work is improving our schools, businesses and lives.

Please donate to this fine organization if you can.

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