United Way has a broad reach

he United Way of McLeod County is one of 1,200 independent United Ways across the country organized to help improve their communities. While we all share a common name and logo, the United Way of McLeod County, is an independent, locally controlled organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors from throughout McLeod County.

The United Way is the most effective way to direct your charitable donations to caring and well-run community programs. Volunteers carefully invest your gift in programs that have proven records of providing life transforming services in a cost-effective manner.

A variety of programs work around the clock, every day of the year to assist friends and neighbors with far more than crisis situations, in every segment of our community. Education and prevention are keys to breaking negative cycles, creating lasting changes and taking care of the whole person. Here is a brief look at United Way donor dollars in action on an average day.

6 a.m. Campers at Friendship Ventures awake to another day of play, nature discovery and group activities designed to promote self-esteem, while teaching life-enhancing skills.

7 a.m. A woman drops her son off at West Central Industries. She is relieved to know that he will learn skills that will provide independence and self sufficiency.

8 a.m. A first time parent is provided information from a Public Health Nurse regarding new baby care, infant/child growth and development, home safety, parenting and community resources.

9 a.m. A toddler and her parents participate in a class that nurtures growth and development of their family through Early Childhood Family Education.

10 a.m. A volunteer from Courage Center picks up a woman in Winsted and drives to her medical rehabilitation appointment, so that she may lead a healthier, more independent life.

11 a.m. A local family that does not have winter clothes receives warm coats, hats and gloves from Common Cup Ministry.

12 p.m. An elderly woman sits down to a hot meal provided by Lutheran Social Services-Senior Nutrition Program.

1 p.m. A family of four in Glencoe moves into a stable home built by Crow River Habitat for Humanity volunteers.

2 p.m. A representative from MEADA of McLeod County provides drug and alcohol education to a local middle school.

3 p.m. Children arrive at an afterschool program provided by McLeod County 4-H, rather than going home to an empty house.

4 p.m. A ten-year-old boy from a low-income family is able to participate in athletic activities through the Hutchinson Parks, Recreation and Community Education.

5 p.m. A Boy Scout troop gathers to collect debris from a local roadside to help the environment.

6 p.m. A local Girl Scout troop meets to rake leaves for a terminally ill patient.

7 p.m. A man attends a caregiver support group meeting as part of Lutheran Social Services’ respite program.

8 p.m. A small group of parents who have lost a child meet to lend support to each other through Compassionate Friends.

9 p.m. A father attends a Parent Connection meeting for support and help in dealing with parenting issues.

10 p.m. Parents put their children to bed by reading the newest book they received as part of the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program.

11 p.m. A family does not go hungry tonight thanks to the McLeod Emergency Food Shelf.

12 a.m. Civil Air Patrol Cadets return from a search and rescue mission.

1 a.m. A young woman is checking into Safe Avenues to escape an abusive relationship.

2 a.m. The Salvation Army provides emergency assistance and temporary housing for a family who has lost their home to fire.

3 a.m. A young woman calls the McLeod Alliance for Victims of Domestic Violence help line to find information regarding protection orders.

4 a.m. A family is warm in their beds thanks to assistance provided by Heartland Community Action.

5 a.m. A mother in need of formula for her infant daughter calls 2-1-1 for free information and referral services. She is referred to local agency that provides assistance for low income families.

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