Meridian Star

December 16, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — Meeting a need


    It’s not about meeting a goal; it’s about meeting a need.

    When people ask me how things are going at United Way, they are most interested in how we are coming at meeting our campaign goal. How red is the United Way thermometer?

    While we do set an ambitious campaign goal each year, I am more interested in telling the story of the impact we’re having on the community. While we need to reach our goal in order to have the funds to do the work, it is the work we do with the funds that is the important thing.

    United Way of East Mississippi is working to address our community’s most pressing needs for education, income and health services. We do that by supporting effective programs of local nonprofit health and human service agencies that meet identified community needs like food for the hungry, and a roof for the homeless. We also take the lead to develop, coordinate and facilitate new initiatives to meet gaps or emerging needs with programs like Imagination Library, providing a free book every month to children from birth to age 5 in our area.

    Did you know that if each individual of working age in our community gave just $10 a month, a gift of $120 this year, we would have millions and be able to provide every agency and program in our area the funds they so desperately need. Even if you have never given to United Way, this is the year you can make a difference. Just $10 a month or more, if you are able, can help change someone’s life in 2013, and many years to come.

    Like all investors, our donors want to be sure that they are getting a good return on their philanthropic investment. We can assure them they are. We carefully review agencies’ programs for proposed impacts; we look at financial and governance information; and require year-end reports. All of these measures ensure that the funds we invest on our donors’ behalf are making the greatest impact that they can. We kicked off the 2012-2013 United Way of East Mississippi Campaign in September. Our ambitious goal is $1,000,000, an increase over last year. We aim to exceed that goal and with each and every citizen in our community, I know that is possible!  But it’s not all about meeting that goal; it’s about how those funds will enable us to meet the community’s needs.   

    We invite you to join us in meeting that need.  You can send donations to United Way of East Mississippi, 2003 23rd Ave., Meridian, MS 39301. For more information, visit our website at or call our office at 601-693-2732.

John Anderson, United Way chairman