United Way needs - and deserves - your support

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By Ralph Damiani

As this year’s United Way of Northern New Mexico campaign begins it seems important to keep in mind that the theme – “People Matter” – is more than a slogan. It truly is what United Way is all about.

Helping people.

The campaign kicks off this Wednesday with an event at Los Alamos National Bank, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The kickoff is being held in conjunction with the Chamber’s monthly FAN Club and everyone is invited to attend.

Los Alamos National Laboratory will kick off its annual drive with a gala Aug. 27 at the lab.

Other events will be announced as time draws near.

United Way agencies truly change people’s lives. From the youth activities of the Family YMCA to the life-saving work of Los Alamos Visiting Nurses to the life-changing work of Family Strengths Network, United Way agencies touch people everyday in so many ways.

To them, People Matter is not a theme, it is a way of life.

And there are so many more.

The Red Cross does so much good, the Family Learning Center and the Boy and Girl scouts touch so many lives.

Habitat for Humanity, the Heart Council, Self Help Inc., the Family Council, the Council on Cancer, Las Cumbres, Amigos del Valle and Casa Mesita do so much good work, help so many people that there are not enough words to express their efforts.

But it all revolves around people. To them – to all the member agencies – People Matter.

They had a good year in last year’s campaign. In fact, it was a record-setting year.

But the needs now are even greater, the people who need help, are ever more numerous.

So the challenge this year is to keep that good work going.

As the economy tightens the needs of the United Way will only grow. The member agencies – facing tighter and tighter income flow and greater and greater expenses – will have greater and greater needs.

And those needs must be met from the donations of all of us as we give to United Way – the only avenue for many of these bodies to secure steady funding.

So be sure to take a look at the campaign and all the agencies that the United Way supports. And remember that as things remain unsettled and government continues to cut back in services and assistance, it is the United Way that steps in to fill that void.

But without all of us, many will go wanting and unserved.

Let’s keep the momentum going and let’s make the 2008 campaign another record-setter.

So please give so the United Way can help those who are out there helping to make the slogan “People Matter” a real-life statement.