United Way's 'caring power' improves lives

Staff reports

I have been a proud contributor to the United Way since first giving to its forerunner, the Community Chest, in a country school in Western Arkansas over 60 years ago.

Need existed then just as it does today in the Bath area. It was the Community Chest that met those needs so long ago. Today it is the mission of the United Way of Central Steuben to do likewise.

The services provided by the United Way offer solutions to the diverse needs of the people of our area. Those who have no health insurance or financial resources can access the services in our Community Care Centers in Bath located on Liberty Street.  Those who cannot afford professionals to prepare their tax returns can use the Southern Tier Cash service. The 3500 returns filed through this service in 2008 produced nearly six million dollars in refunds to working class families in Steuben and Chemung counties.

Those in need of non-emergency information can call 211, a United Way funded program, to obtain help in solving family or individual problems. More than 25,000 people were aided in this way in 2008.

Then, too, are the many organizations which benefit from our United Way funds – community and youth programs, libraries, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels – the list goes on and on.

The mission of the United Way is to effectively mobilize the caring power of our communities to help people improve their lives. I encourage us all to support this mission and to “Live United.”

Larry Bates