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United Way helps many in Miss-Lou

Thank you for printing the guest editorial on the United Way in “The (Monroe, La.) News-Star” in Tuesday’s edition. It outlined the importance of all United Way agencies at home and abroad in shoring-up the social, health and economic needs of persons (and communities) in distress.

These agencies do make a difference in peoples’ lives in times when the economy is weak, deficits are mounting and when social and health programs, at the federal, state and local level, are being severely reduced in resources. Let me take this opportunity to inform your readers about our local United Way.

The United Way of the Greater Miss-Lou has been an important organization supporting a group of local social and health service agencies that help meet the needs of hundreds of people living in the Miss-Lou. These agencies focus on critical problems and needs in education, employment, housing, health care and recreation that are facing our area. These United Way “partnering” agencies work together to deliver services that help children and youth succeed, strengthen and support families in need and promote independence and economic self-sufficiency among individuals.

These agencies are thoroughly evaluated and screened under strict national standards and guidelines set by the United Way Worldwide by a board of local volunteer leaders in the community representing business, clergy, government, non-profit organizations, etc.

The current agencies supported by the United Way of the Greater Miss-Lou are: Adams County 4-H, Adams County CASA, Adams County Red Cross, Catholic Charities (emergency assistance and counseling), Guardian Center (for victims of sexual assault and housing for battered families), Habitat for Humanity, Natchez/Adams Council on Aging, Natchez Football Falcons Youth Club and T.M. Jennings Little League.

The United Way plans to raise $150,000 in 2013 to assist in the delivery of programs and services provided by its partnering agencies. The primary source of funding for the United Way comes from voluntary employee contributions through payroll deductions.

The funds raised are allocated to the partnering agencies by a group of volunteers who determine how available funds will be distributed to partnering agencies. Every dollar contributed to the United Way stays in the Miss-Lou.

Less than 20 cents on every dollar is used for central office administrative purposes, such as the day-to-day functioning of the organization, public relations and accountability, maintenance, rent, etc.

In one year, just $10 a month can create lasting and crucial changes for families and individuals in need. For example: 30 meals for seniors; emergency assistance for 15 families affected by fire or flood; counseling for two abused or neglected children; and enough nails and screws to build two houses and transportation for 18 visits to the doctors for seniors.

Furthermore, these donations will or could provide matching funds to ensure the continuation of services for those in crisis that need assistance in food, housing, counseling, mentoring and transportation.

For more information and pledge forms, contact Director Tammy Prince at tprince@unitedwaymisslou.org or 601-442-1081 or visit unitedwaymisslou.org.


Mike Gemmell

United Way of the Greater Miss-Lou Campaign chairman