That’s the sentiment of one house fire victim turned local volunteer for the local American Red Cross. Her comment is like those from so many other victims of fire and other tragedies because none of us ever expects such calamities to impact us and our families — but happen they do. The American Red Cross is one of 15 local organizations helped by the Franklin County United Way.
This week kicks off the annual fundraising effort by the local United Way agency. This effort includes an Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce coffee 8 a.m. Friday at Peoples Bank followed by the organization’s largest annual one-day fundraiser. Ottawa’s Country Mart will play host to the United Way and be serving hotdogs and all the fixin’s Friday and Saturday in the store’s parking lot. The food, as well as balloons and other goodies, is available for a donation to the United Way. Of course, giving just for the sake of giving is a good idea, too.
Volunteers from American Eagle Outfitters, Walmart Logistics and other area businesses and organizations will be on hand to cook up the dogs and provide a sociable environment for the community luncheon.
Though the suggested donation for the hotdogs is just $2 and another $1 for those wanting a balloon, this is the time to pull out the cash, checkbook or even debit card to make a donation of any size to help those who might not be in need now, but could be the ones on the receiving end of the funds in the future. More than 15,000 Franklin County residents have been helped by United Way agencies in the past year. Whether the need was for domestic violence intervention, hospice care, emergency food and health care needs, Meals on Wheels, or care for abused and neglected children, those with cerebal palsy or mental health needs, it is clear that organizations such as Big Brother Big Sisters, CASA, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Communities in Schools, Elizabeth Layton Center for Hope and Guidance, Habitat for Humanity of Franklin County, Hope House, Mid-America Nutrition Center, Tiny-K Early Intervention, LifeCare Center for Women, Midland Care Hospice, Ottawa Recreation Commission’s Summer Playground program, United Cerebral Palsy and Willow Domestic Violence Center might have had a hand in helping a friend, neighbor, relative, coworker or acquaintance.
The local United Way hopes to raise $160,000 between now and Nov. 15 during its fundraising blitz. Let’s all do our part.
No one wants to be in the “I never thought it would be me” situation only to find the coffers are empty and those important aid organizations aren’t there to provide the help in their time of need.
editor and publisher