Pocket change could be the difference for United Fund

A homeless family has no where to turn, no one to help them, until they get desperately needed assistance from The Shepherd’s House, giving them hope to reclaim their lives.

A fire in the middle of the night destroys a residence, and those who lived there are left with nothing, until the Red Cross steps in, getting them shelter and connecting them with local agencies who can get them back on their feet.

Local youths, sometimes with no other strong positive influences in their lives, find caring adults and friends in Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops, organizations that help those young folks have some fun while finding their way in life.

A wreck occurs on a busy street, and within minutes volunteer rescue squads are on the scene, tending to the injured.

What do these little scenarios have in common? Every one of them involves a local agency supported by the United Fund of Surry County.

More than two dozen local organizations — agencies dealing with people most in need, who might not otherwise get the help they need — get a good portion of their funding from the United Fund.

That’s important, because every minute the volunteers and folks working with those organizations must spend on fundraising efforts, that’s time away from their core mission of helping people.

That is where the United Fund comes in, by taking on the bulk of that fundraising work, advocating for those human resource agencies throughout the community, raising money it can then distribute to those organizations. Oftentimes the United Fund can raise more total money for these agencies than they could if they each took on their own fundraising efforts. So the partnership between these organizations and the United Fund is vital to their missions, and that is why it is important we, as community members, do our part to help the United Fund meet its annual fundraising goals.

At last report, the United Fund was about $39,000 short of its $450,000 goal for the year. Many of you have already responded to the United Fund’s call for donations, helping the organization come within just a few thousand dollars of its goal.

But if the rest of the money doesn’t come in, that means the United Fund’s allocations to many of those local agencies will be curtailed, budgets will shrink, and somewhere, sometime, there’s going to be a need that goes unmet simply because an agency had to cut some of its work.

There are about 33,000 households in Surry County — some containing large families, others maybe with just an individual or two living there. But if every single one of the households in Surry County could find a way to donate just $1.50 over the next week or two, the United Fund would go well over its goal for the year.

That’s just $1.50. For some households that might truly be difficult, but we suspect for most that would be no big deal, representing pocket change left at the end of the day, or foregoing a vending machine candy bar once or twice.

We hope many of the folks living in Surry County will take a few moments to reflect on the importance of the annual United Fund drive, and how easy it would be, at this point, to donate a dollar or two and push the Fund over its goal for the year.

We suspect, somewhere along the line, everyone who does that will be repaid many times over by utilizing services provided by organizations funded by the United Fund.