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TMCNet:  EDITORIAL: Community generosity earns a salute

[December 12, 2012]

EDITORIAL: Community generosity earns a salute

Dec 12, 2012 (The Telegraph - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Who knows but what it might be a sign of an easing economy: The local United Way this year managed to raise more money than it sought.

Whatever is was, the outcome of the campaign is a testament to a lot of hard work.

The Southwest Illinois Division of United Way of Greater St. Louis exceeded its goal of $1.83 million. Officials announced at their annual gathering Thursday that they had taken in $1,848,234. That may be miniscule in terms of excess, but the result is significant when you consider that the same agency failed to make its $1.95 million goal this past year. The campaign goal this year was set at approximately the same level as money actually raised last year.

All this happened at a time when every non-profit out there is struggling to meet the demands of individuals facing their hardest times in years. That means competition for every charitable dollar.

The Southwest Illinois Division celebrated with a Thank You Reception on Thursday at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey.

This year, Cindy Smalley, director of marketing and communications at Cope Plastics in Godfrey, got a special nod. She was in charge of the Southwest campaign. Along with a cadre of volunteers, she pulled it off.

Said 2012 Southwest Illinois Division Board Chair Debra Pitts: "It gives me such joy to know that we were able to continue to serve families throughout this community." More than 90 cents of every United Way dollar goes to provide services. Some 170 member agencies are served around the St. Louis metropolitan region, about a fourth of them right in our own area.

It is estimated that one in three people in our community receives help. That is an astounding ratio.

Organizations like United Way exist only because of the generosity of those willing to contribute. A lot of average people, many of whom have received help themselves, give to the cause each year, despite their own daily, financial hurdles.

We salute such benevolence, as well as the volunteers whose hard work has in turn bestowed upon the United Way the great trust it deserves.

___ (c)2012 The Telegraph (Alton, Ill.) Visit The Telegraph (Alton, Ill.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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