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United Fund deserves support

The Butler County United Fund recently began its drive to collect and distribute $50,000 to public-service organizations throughout this county.

United Fund is one of the county's welcome constants. It is always there to provide funds for groups that need an infusion of cash to continue their own good work.

United Fund was founded to organize fund-raising so that the difficult task didn't fall to dozens of individual agencies and continuously pester people and businesses throughout the year. The idea was to create one drive, once a year, to spare donors and to better facilitate the philanthropy.

United Fund continues to grow each year and many corporations in Butler County encourage 100 percent participation by employees.

One of the harshest lessons learned by various organizations in the aftermath of state budget woes, is the lack of money given to groups such as the YMCA, fire departments and Safe Harbor.

Also, when the economy suffers, community giving is the first category to be left out of most household budgets, and the past three years have seen the economy suffer.

And, of course, United Fund competes against all other giving that takes place simultaneously, be it to church offering plates or one-time hospital fund drives. Every year, United Fund must keep its place of priority no matter what other causes are introduced.

Last year, United Fund surpassed its goal of $50,000, in spite of economic hardship throughout. It should be noted that International Paper's employees and their company raised the most money for the fund totalling over $18,000 in donations.

So we ask everyone to follow their example. When considering how much to pledge, remember the agencies in Butler County that will benefit directly from the largesse of donors like you. Those agencies will do inestimable good for those under their umbrella.

But remember, too, that a vibrant United Fund is the perfect reflection of a vibrant community. We know we are thriving in Butler County, but with our efforts in the United Fund we can show that we understand that you have to return something to the community.

Fifty thousand dollars is an awful lot of money. But it will come from an awful lot of decent people who understand the importance of helping others.

So when you are approached to give this year, please do so.