The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

December 22, 2012

May the spirit of giving continue through the year

By Brent Andresen
Special to the Herald

CLINTON — As I put away the presents I receive for Christmas and clean up the leftover food, I will reflect on the wonderful spirit of giving I noticed in our community over the past few months.

Food was donated, cooked, delivered, and served to hundreds of families for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.  

Gifts were purchased and wrapped to make sure that foster kids, families in shelters, senior citizens, and others facing financial challenges had a happy holiday this year.  Nearly every day, the paper reported on one or more generous donations given to a local pantry, shelter, or other charity.  Generous donors paid off strangers’ layaway bills and dropped big bills in the collection kettles.  There were drives for Toys for Tots, Coats for Kids, Holiday Network, and more.  

All these efforts helped ensure that no one needed to go without a warm meal, gifts, and the knowledge that we live in a caring community.

But now the decorations are going back on the shelves for the year.  I hope that this caring, giving spirit doesn’t also get shelved until the next holiday or community emergency.

United Way of Clinton County, Iowa and our funded partner agencies work year round to help families in need.

We make a difference in their lives by providing support for basic every day needs such as food, shelter, and clothing through longer term needs such as counseling, youth mentoring, and life skills education.

When you give to United Way, your gift combined with that of thousands of others gives the gift of HOPE for a better life.

United Way’s centralized, community-wide fundraising approach is a cost-effective and efficient way to support local health and human service agencies that provide help when it is needed most. We bring together community leaders, businesses, nonprofits, and agencies to collaborate on targeted community solutions in the areas of Education, Income/Financial Security, and Health. We want everyone to have a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income to support a family through retirement, and good health.

On behalf of the increased numbers of people who are being served this year by programs provided by United Way and its partner agencies, we would like to thank you for supporting United Way. Through your contribution, you reached out a hand to one and influenced the condition of all.  

Your gift shows that you understand what it means to Live United.

Brent Andresen is the United Way board president.