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Our view: United Way brings hope, transformation to community

August 26, 2019 | Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

By: AJ Media Editorial Board

In one of the assurances that fall is almost upon us, the Lubbock Area United Way held its annual kickoff event last week where campaign chairman Tony Lloyd announced the organization’s ambitious plans to raise almost $5.9 million between now and early December.

For those who may be unaware, the United Way helps fund 23 local agencies dedicated to providing services to people of all ages caught in the midst of challenging circumstances, often beyond their own control.

For more than 70 years, the Lubbock Area United Way has fulfilled its mission of Giving People Hope by connecting generous and compassionate hearts with a wide array of community partners that improve the quality of life in our city. Money raised during the annual campaign is invested back in the community through agencies that work year round tackling the community’s most pressing challenges while also helping the community’s most vulnerable populations.

Many agencies supported by United Way dollars are among the most familiar: the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Clubs, the Children’s Advocacy Center, Catholic Charities, Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts. Every agency under the local United Way’s umbrella has something in common: dedication to good works and changing the trajectory of the community one person at a time.

This year’s campaign is off to a great start thanks to the strong work of the JumpStart Division and the sharing spirit of some of Lubbock’s staunchest corporate citizens. It was announced during the luncheon that the JumpStart Division, which is intended to provide the yearly campaign with a huge dose of early momentum, raised just more than $1.2 million, slightly more than 20 percent of the goal.

Thanks to the Lubbock Association of Realtors and employees of Covenant Health, United Supermarkets, City Bank, PlainsCapital Bank, Citibus and Fox34/Ramar Communications, this year’s effort is off to an outstanding start.

“These companies and the Lubbock Association of Realtors have shown an extraordinary commitment – not only to a great start to the campaign, but to ensuring we will rise together so no one on the South Plains stands alone,” JumpStart Division chairman Kelsey Johnson said in our story last week.

And while it is critical to start well, it is equally important to point out there is a long way to go before the work is done. United Way is most visible during the fall, but its operation and impact creates a year-round footprint.

We thank all of those serving as United Way volunteers during the campaign for giving their time to helping this vital community initiative take place once again. We also say thank you to the United Way staff and all of those who work for United Way agencies. Their quiet and dedicated efforts day in and day out make a difference in the heartbeat of the community.

Maybe most important, though, is a thank you to the donors and financial supporters of United Way. Every dollar matters and every gift is appreciated.

The Lubbock Area United Way touches literally more than 100,000 lives each year. Agencies are held accountable, volunteers are well-trained and funds are handled with high degrees of scrutiny and transparency.

As the campaign continues through the next few months, we encourage people to listen to the United Way’s message and consider supporting the organization, its partner agencies and its commitment to being an agent of hope and transformation.

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