Thursday, November 20, 2008

Your contribution is needed to help residents

What do you do when everyone is hungry and no one can decide on one snack? Hailey wants M&M’s. Erika wants toffee. Courtney wants chocolate. Mom wants pretzels and I want something with nuts. Emma can’t decide between sweet, salty, crunchy or gooey—but she knows she wants something!

We went to the pantry, dug out our snack of choice, poured them into bowls and realized what we each had was too little to satisfy our hunger. Finally it came to us—take the half full bags and combine them to make a “seven layer” bar. It hit everyone’s craving, and we all got a lot more to eat than if we had only eaten one snack food.

I bet you never thought a little of something would make such a difference. Well, I can give you one more example—and it’s more fulfilling than the most delicious dessert. It’s your contribution to the United Way campaign. Every gift has a huge impact because it creates opportunities for people to have a better life.

If contributions don’t continue, United Way volunteers must make tough decisions on where to decrease funding. So many programs already operate on very bare bone budgets. It’s amazing to see what they do with so little. Mary’s Place: Genesis Room gave 50 people a place to live—a chance to get off the street, out of their car or off someone’s couch and transition to steady employment and housing. All for only $6.68 per night.

Many people in our community face difficult challenges. There are older adults fighting poverty, teens in conflict with their parents or unemployed fathers wondering how they’re going to feed their family. We all feel the rising costs of living expenses, but we don’t have to choose between heat and groceries like some people.

Please make a contribution within your budget: $10, $50, $100 or more. If you already made your contribution to change lives, thank you. You can take action by advocating for thousands in need. Ask someone you know to also give generously.

Get involved: Give. Advocate. Volunteer. LIVE UNITED. Call 384-9992 to give or print a pledge card by visiting Contributions can be mailed to Marshfield Area United Way, PO Box 771, Marshfield, WI 54449.

Contributed by Stacey Oelrich, Marshfield Area United Way’s Communications Director