Not a day goes by that I don't think about the many ways my family is blessed.
In counting my own blessings, it invariably leads me to think of others in our community who are not so fortunate. For me, that's why United Way of the CSRA is so important to the future of our community.
I am so proud of the Augusta area for stepping up this year. We set an ambitious goal of $4.4 million for the United Way campaign. Last week, with your help, we announced the successful conclusion of the campaign with $4.416 million raised.
The results of this campaign are a great success story for Augusta. I feel our community is positioned for a lot of positive opportunities in the future, and your support of this campaign makes an important statement. Equally, your financial pledges say a lot about the character of the people who live here. By making an investment in United Way, the individuals and companies in our area are demonstrating that we are committed to thinking beyond ourselves, and are all working together to raise up the entire community.
BUT WHY IS giving to United Way so important? There are certainly many charities worthy of support. Limited resources, however, are a reality. Most of us don't have endless capabilities. Hence, a few key agencies must be chosen over the thousands of important causes.
When you look at charitable giving as an individual or a company today, I think it has become increasingly important to be very resourceful with your giving dollar. In my opinion, United Way is one of the best ways to give back to make a wide impact on our community.
With your United Way contribution, you are leveraging the dollar you give. United Way and their agencies are good stewards of the funds we entrust to them. A large amount of every dollar goes directly to those persons in need, with very little spent on administration. We take pride in the fact that just over 12 cents of every dollar pledged provides year-round fund-raising, marketing and administrative services. The agencies also leverage the dollars given to them even further by taking advantage of matching funds and other giving.
THE NEEDS OF the community often are much broader than any one agency can handle. United Way member agencies offer a comprehensive mix of programs and services to meet the diverse needs of our total community. With your generous contributions, United Way of the CSRA supports more than 60 health and human service programs through our 20 partner agencies.
United Way of the CSRA is the largest funding source of health and human services in the area, but the value of United Way does not stop there. Beyond simply providing resources for needs, your United Way is uniting people to build a stronger, safer and healthier community. United Way is about doing what matters to make our community better for all.
The result is a tremendous benefit to our community. Thank you, Augusta, for your investment in United Way of the CSRA!
(Editor's note: The writer is 2006 campaign chairman for United Way of the CSRA, and the president of Savannah River Financial Corporation.)