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Ennis Daily News

The United Way needs your help

At a time when many people are cutting back, it’s more important than ever to donate to the Greater Ennis United Way.
While many of us are eliminating unnecessary expenses such as going out to eat and taking vacations, some people in our community are struggling just to provide for their families. Even though the economic recession has not had a full-blown impact on Ennis, the cross-country belt tightening has taken effect here. Confidence in our economy sharply declined about a year ago, and people are reluctant to spend. This save-not-spend mentality is understandable, and was a long-overdue paradigm shift in the mindset of the American Consumer.
However, when people cut back on their charitable donations, those who were struggling to get by before are working even harder to make ends meet. It is important that when cutting costs, we remember those less fortunate than ourselves who are still in need of help.
At Tuesday’s Rotary Club meeting, it was exciting to hear that the Greater Ennis United Way is optimistic about this year’s fundraising goal, even though they fell short of meeting last year’s goal for the first time in many years. Jesse Deleon, the fundraising campaign’s president, said that the goal has been lowered to a more attainable amount, $300,000 instead of $315,000.
Even though the fundraising campaign hasn’t officially kicked off, the United Way is already well on its way to meeting its goal, with $5,000 from the Rotary Club. Earlier in the year, the United Way also received a donation from the Kinzie Family Foundation.
These donations should inspire more donors to give, and the United Way hopes for a large turnout at its Annual Kick-Off Luncheon.
With United Way funds going to help 12 area agencies, donors can be assured that their contributions will be put to good use in the community. With the current economic climate, donors will surely want every cent of their donation to count.
With United Way’s low overhead cost and large volunteer force, donations go out into the community instead of paying bills or paychecks.
In fact, the Greater Ennis United Way only has one employee — Eliza Fulton, the executive director. She works very hard for the United Way, but she couldn’t do it without the support from the United Way’s volunteers.
The Greater Ennis United Way is doing quite well. It went over and above the annual United Way of America requirements in 2008.
The Greater Ennis United Way became independent of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas in 2002, which has been beneficial for Ennis because it can more directly help local agencies, including the Boys & Girls Club of Ennis, Helping Hands of Ennis and CASA of Ellis County.
United Way thoroughly verifies the legitimacy of all of the agencies it serves. Each of them is federally classified as a nonprofit, and each keeps accurate records of their finances.
To learn more about the United Way and information about donating, come to the Annual Kick-Off Luncheon at noon Sept. 3 at Tabernacle Baptist Church. Mayor Russell Thomas will be emceeing the event, and the cost is $7.50 a plate.
I hope that even though you and your family might be trying to save as much money as possible this year, you will consider making a donation to the United Way. I especially encourage those of you who have donated before to continue to do so. Even a small donation is a worthwhile investment in the well-being of our community, since the United Way aims to help its agencies become self-sufficient. Please consider making a contribution to the Greater Ennis United Way, because as Jesse Deleon said, you will get the biggest bang for your buck if you donate.
Liz Crawford is a staff writer for the Ennis Daily News and covers education and Ellis County government. She can be reached at liz@ennisdailynews.com

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Posted by on Aug 21 2009. Filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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