All in this together: It takes you to meet community need

Published 7:28 am Friday, December 1, 2017

United Way of Mower County

United Way is more than just a fundraiser. We are a critical community impact organization identifying the most pressing needs in our community and acting to address them.

We partner with local agencies to expand opportunities for people to succeed and our recent events are a great example of how we’re working to move Mower County forward.

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United Way understands access to quality child care is vital to child development, lifelong learning, and regional economic growth. Day of Caring was a huge success thanks to our hard-working volunteers and generous sponsors. One hundred and nineteen individuals volunteered over 500 hours of their time on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. Together, through repairs and renovations to Catherwood Home Childcare, we made a lasting impact on child care in our community.

In another effort to ensure quality child care is available to all, United Way was instrumental in coordinating the Child Care Innovation Town Hall that took place on Nov. 6. This event was a platform for productive discussion involving over 100 community members and will continue with a second meeting from 6-8 p.m. on Dec. 11 at the Hormel Historic Home.

United Way was proud to partner with the Austin Area Foundation and Sandy Anderson, coach and consultant, to provide a Relevancy and Impact Training on Oct. 25. This free program was open to all area nonprofits and over 50 individuals were in attendance. Sandy presented tools to increase relevancy and impact when evaluating programs. This also proved to be a great opportunity for nonprofits to share experiences and collaborate.

The first annual Community Connect was held on Nov. 18 and saw over 690 engaged participants. United Way was involved in the collaborative planning of this one-day event with the goal to connect local residents to resources and assistance by partnering with area service providers. Community members were invited to access resources for themselves and their families through access to lunch, haircuts, childcare, groceries, clothes, and other items free of cost. The event achieved its purpose of creating a sense of hope and caring among our community by providing a hand-up rather than a hand-out.

While initiatives and events such as these show United Way goes far beyond fundraising, it’s important to understand that the funds we do raise are essential to building a stronger community. Our 2017-2018 Community Campaign is currently in full swing and we are working hard to meet the community need.

As part of this great community, we all share a responsibility for our future. If everyone in Mower County does not have access to health care, a quality education, is not financially stable, or does not have their basic needs met, we all suffer.

Critical issues such as these carry an overwhelming sense of urgency. Right now, if you donate, we can work to:

• Narrow the 10-year gap in life expectancy between high and low-income individuals

• Ensure that the 40 percent of households earning less than $35,000 have the resources to make ends meet

• Identify affordable, quality childcare options to reduce the shortage of more than 800 licensed childcare spots

When you donate to the United Way, you join thousands of others who care about the same thing: making sure everyone in our community has a chance for a better life. Your investment will make a significant difference in helping to rewrite the stories for those most in need.

Please visit or call United Way at (507) 437-2313 to learn how you can make a difference today.

Thank you for supporting our community today to ensure a better tomorrow for all.

We’re all in this together.