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Letter: United Way Needs Your Help

To the Editor:

The Upper Valley Region of the Granite United Way 2012 Campaign is well under way and Dec. 31 is fast approaching. The needs of our Upper Valley neighbors are great and, quite frankly, growing. The devastating state budget cuts have severely impacted our local social service agencies that rely on that funding. The increasingly complex needs of our region’s residents from the prolonged impacts of the recession and Hurricane Irene have placed severe strain on our safety network of support.

Now, more than ever, the Upper Valley Region of Granite United Way needs your help. Any donation, large or small, makes a real difference.

The need is demonstrated by the increased number of Upper Valley Region of Granite United Way grant requests, up 4 percent, from $845,000 last year to $870,000 this year. Local municipal welfare departments are reporting that caseloads are up and that multi-agency assistance is needed to help many people. Our local food pantries report that many more individuals and families depend on them as a critical food source.

My work with the Upper Valley Region of Granite United Way over the past two years has convinced me that it is the ultimate volunteer-based organization. Teams of local volunteers raise the money through workplace campaigns and individual solicitations, joined by teams of local volunteers that review all grant requests and make final funding allocation decisions. Money raised in the Upper Valley stays in the Upper Valley. And the Upper Valley United Way’s decision to merge with Granite United Way two years ago to lower its overhead expenses increased our region’s ability to distribute more funds directly to area programs.

Please consider making a workplace pledge or individual donation to the Upper Valley United Way before the end of December. The more individuals who can participate in this “united” approach, the better the result for so many in need of our help.

Julia Griffin

Chair, 2012 Upper Valley Campaign