United Ways help keep area strong

United Ways that cover the Tri-State Area raise money for agencies and organizations that provide a wide variety of services designed to better the lives of our friends and neighbors.

They offer food and shelter to those who are in need. They offer a safe place to go when people are confronted with domestic violence. They provide emergency disaster services.

Campaigns by each of the three United Ways that serve our region are under way. The Jefferson County United Way’s efforts officially began Aug. 30 with the annual Day of Action. More than 100 volunteers spread out among 19 sites that day to work on projects that member agencies might not have been able to accomplish on their own.

The goal of this year’s campaign is to raise $400,000. Working to ensure that goal is met is a team including Kate Sedgmer, executive director; Tyra and Tom Timmons, campaign co-chairs; Anthony Mougianis, board chair; and countless volunteers from all parts of the county. In addition to individual and workplace campaigns, many fund-raising events will be held during the next several months, including the annual Taste of Jefferson County Oct. 3 at St. Florian Hall in Wintersville.

The Weirton United Way’s campaign is under way as well. Area pupils already have made an impact on that effort, raising money through dress-down days and walks at local schools. Executive Director Linda Stear, board President Don Gianni Jr. and co-chairs Luke Myers and Chris Hatala will be directing a campaign that will be seeking to raise $240,000.

Among the most important events of the campaign will be the organization’s fall golf tournament Sept. 22 at Mountaineer’s Woodview Golf Course.

Also under way is the campaign of the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley, which serves agencies in Brooke County. Its 27th-annual Sandy O’Haver Day of Caring was held Wednesday, and its Oktoberfest will be held from noon to 11 p.m. on Sept. 29 at Wheeling’s Centre Market. Jessica Rine serves as executive director, and Jason Haswell is board president.

Local United Ways are committed to making our region stronger, and they offer an important reminder — money raised here stays here. It’s a pledge that guarantees your donations to area United Ways will go toward helping a friend or a neighbor.

We hope you will support the United Way, either by a financial donation or the gift of your time.

However you choose to be involved, you will be helping to make our region a better place to live.