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United Way at 77 percent

help needed to hit '06 goal

December 01, 2006

As our readers search for holiday bargains, we urge them to remember that there are others out there who are searching, too.

We're talking about the volunteers of the 2006 campaign for the United Way of Washington County, who are searching for donations

Last night, campaign leaders gathered in downtown Hagerstown to announce that the campaign has collected $1.3 million to date.

That means the campaign has reached 77 percent of its $1.75 million goal. That's good, but with fewer than eight weeks remaining in the campaign, more is needed.

Any donations made will be money well spent to improve this community. The small paid staff is overseen by a group of volunteers, many of whom take time away from their jobs and personal lives to make sure no money is wasted.

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Each member agency must be audited every year and all their financial records are open to public inspection. And whether they get money for programs in 2007 depends on how well the money they received last year was spent.

The volunteers don't just take agencies' word for it, but require extensive documentation as well.

What will your donation do? United Way officials provided these examples:

Horizon Goodwill helped a homeless woman with two children who had a poor work history get training and a full-time job. Instead of being on disability, she has now been employed steadily for 16 months.

W House helped a Hagers-town woman whose career as a fashion model ended when she became addicted to drugs remain clean and sober for more than a year and a half.

Girls Inc. helped a troubled young girl who reacted to her parents divorce by behaving badly, by teaching her the value of teamwork and staying in school and helping her get a college scholarhip. She's now a registered nurse.

REACH helped a 78-year-old woman with a variety of health problems with several services that allowed her to stay in her home.

All of these things not only make this a better community, but they lower taxpayer's costs by reducing agency clients' need for public assistance.

For more information, call the campaign office at 301-739-8200 or visit their Web site at www.unitedwaywashcounty.org., or send your donation to the United Way office at 18706 Crestwood Drive, Hagerstown, MD 21742.

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