Globe Gazette Editorial: Live United. Give United

There are new faces in leadership positions. A new energy. Even a new look to its office.
 
But there’s nothing new about the gnawing need all around North Iowa — that of people who depend on others to get by. And the United Way of North Central Iowa is there to try to fill that need, to deliver a hand where and when it can.
 
That’s why we support the United Way’s $1 million fund drive currently underway.
 
The United Way has changed and refocused on its goals. The change goes back to the basics of United Way in letting partner agencies administer the programs. It makes sense because they’re the experts who know how to make their programs grow. United Way raises money to support those programs and others that greatly impact the areas of education, income and health in North Iowa.
 
Thus the importance of the $1 million campaign. But staff changes meant the campaign started later than anticipated.
 
Jodee O’Brien is the interim chief executive officer, a position she has held since June. Michelle Crooks is the new executive assistant, Jen Butler is the new community impact director and Brandi Evers rejoined United Way as marketing and communications director, a position she previously held.
 
Now, with that team in place, they and campaign volunteers are working hard to make up for lost time as they oversee the program that covers much of North Iowa and many agencies in it.
 
Which brings us to another area of need: volunteers. It takes a lot of hands and legwork to help the United Way function at a high level, and there are positions ranging from stuffing backpacks to serving on community impact teams to determine where funding goes.
 
Like a buck a week donation providing transportation to work for eight people or $20 a week providing 52 hours of mentoring to at-risk youth.
 
Every gift is important to cover the substantial requests for assistance.
 
Campaign Chairman Gary Pyle said that last year United Way was able to fund only about half of the $2 million in requests it received.
 
“We would like to see this gap become much smaller so we can help more people,” Pyle said.
 
That’s where you come in, where we can all help: The more we give, the more people get helped.
 
If you are interested in donating time or money — or both — or if you have any questions about the United Way, call 641-423-1774 or email info@unitedwaynci.org.
 
Live United. Give United. It’s a simple message that means hope for so many through the United Way of North Central Iowa.