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Our View: Please help United Way

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

Across the top of the United Way of Greater McHenry County website are the words “give, advocate, volunteer and organization.”

The words help you navigate your way through the website, but they also represent what the United Way is about and how you can help fulfill its mission, which is to enhance the quality of life for those in need in local communities by facilitating access to resources.

The United Way of Greater McHenry County launched its newest fundraising campaign late last month. This year’s goal is to raise $1.5 million, which represents $100,000 more than last year’s campaign raised.

“I think it’s a fair number,” United Way of Greater McHenry County Executive Director Steve Otten said. “It’s slightly more than what we raised last year. But we also have to recognize the environment that we’re in. We want to be realistic about it but also give ourselves something to shoot at. To reach that number would be tremendous for our organization.”

One in four people in McHenry County benefited last year from the programs that are sponsored by the United Way, Otten said. It funds organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Turning Point, Pioneer Center for Human Services and the Sage YMCA of Metro Chicago, among others. The United Way also funds McHenry County’s 2-1-1 service, which connects residents to a variety of human services.

Simply, the United Way’s reach in McHenry County is great. Giving to or volunteering with the United Way is one of the surest ways to make sure your money or time is helping those who need services locally. Funds raised during the annual campaign support 48 human-service programs in McHenry County.

We encourage you to learn more about United Way of Greater McHenry County by visiting its website, More importantly, we encourage you to help the United Way reach its fundraising goal.

If you’re interested in giving individually to the United Way or running a United Way campaign, call the United Way of Greater McHenry County at 815-363-1377.

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