Did you realize that this is the 90th consecutive year that our wonderful United Way of Greater Chattanooga and its predecessor community welfare agencies have successfully sought to serve our people in so many worthwhile ways?
Yes, we have already had 89 years of good results in the effort to meet our community welfare and service goals. Now, in 2011, we are seeking to extend the marvelous streak of successful fundraising campaigns to a 90th year!
Why have Chattanooga-area residents been such willing givers for so long?
It's because our generous contributors are assured that they are getting their money's worth -- that what they give is going to the "right places" through valuable United Way agencies, to meet real needs of people in the community.
And United Way agencies not only reach out to people who are "down and out" but also to those who are "up-and-coming"!
United Way formally kicked off Chattanooga's 2011 fundraising campaign Thursday at a joint meeting of the downtown Rotary Club and downtown Kiwanis Club. There was a great deal of enthusiasm.
Because Chattanoogans realize that a successful United Way campaign means that so many local needs will be met efficiently and economically.
There are, of course, many outstanding local charitable organizations. We commend them all. But few can compare in sheer scope with the work that United Way does year in, year out. And even the most generous and well-meaning people among us would find it hard to be as effective in our individual charitable pursuits as we can be through an organization such as United Way.
This year, United Way would like to meet a "stretch goal" of $11.9 million -- and it surely would not object to raising even more!
That's where all the rest of us come in.
This year's volunteer United Way Community Campaign Chairman Tom Glenn has been joined by many other volunteers to make it easy for us to give individually and by payroll deductions at our workplaces throughout the year.
We highly commend the good citizens who already have pledged contributions of $2 million! Now many other generous businesses, organizations and we as individuals should eagerly give to assure that we will reach the $11.9 million goal!
It should be emphasized that thousands of our local people will benefit from local residents' and businesses' generous contributions to United Way.
And, in fact, all of us benefit from United Way's success, because it makes this a wonderful community in which to live.