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Opinion

Some ways to help your community for the price of a coffee

If you like coffee, like me, you probably find yourself frequenting your favorite coffee establishment often.

It’s hard to resist the rich flavor of a great coffee, the sweet taste of a caramel latte loaded with whipped cream, or a refreshing iced coffee with chocolate flavoring.

It’s quite easy to go through the drive-through and order one on the way to work or to bring to a meeting. Some people may even make this a regular routine to start each day.

What might be surprising to learn is that the cost of just one of those special coffees per week can make a huge difference in the lives of others.

That’s right. The price for just one those special coffees per week can positively impact those in need in our community.

The opportunities to make a difference in someone’s life are endless with just a few dollars a week.

It can provide eight hours of respite to relieve a family caregiver, two weeks of hot, nutritious meals for a senior, or four hours of therapy for a child with Down syndrome.

It can also provide five sack lunches for a homeless individual, a night of shelter for two victims of domestic violence, or one month of utilities are paid for four families.

Every dollar matters and can provide drones for a STEM program, medications for low-income individuals, transportation for health-related appointments, treatment for those suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder or food for a week for approximately 40 families.

This is what makes the United Way mission so important in every community. Through the generosity of the donors and companies that support the United Way of Grundy County annually, we are able to grant funds for more than 50 vital programs and services in the community. Programs include basic human needs, education, health,
crisis intervention, transportation, youth, seniors, veterans and disaster relief.

No matter your passion, there is a program that our United Way supports from the funds we raise annually.

Donations are received from individuals, families, employees at local businesses through payroll deductions, and corporate gifts and grants. These funds are then awarded through an annual community grant process to local nonprofit agencies that provide the direct service to those in need in our community.

The community grant applications are reviewed by our volunteer Board of Directors. They meet with the agencies and take a closer look at their request. They do an in-depth review of the agency’s budget, audit and other documents to determine program sustainability.

Community needs assessments and other factors are also considered in order to determine what programs and services meet the most needs in the community. Donors can be assured that this decision is not taken lightly and our board members give great care and consideration during the entire allocation process.

One of the most important things to consider is that since we are entrusted with funds from donor support, we hold our funded agencies accountable for the funds they are awarded.

Transparency, accountability and responsibility are key elements that makes our United Way a great choice when looking to donate to worthy causes resulting in the greatest impact in the community.

Coffee is good, but being able to positively change someone’s life is great. So, the next time you are at your favorite coffee establishment, think about the fact that the price of just one of those yummy coffees per week can do so much good in our community.

On another note, the time for our upcoming annual campaign celebration dinner event is almost here. This Hawaiian Luau-themed fundraising event will be on Sep. 12, at the Morris Country Club. The members of our Special Events Committee are working hard to make this event fun for all.

We will have some raffles, a silent auction and even a group of ukulele players. There is still time to make a reservation. If you would like to attend, contact our office, grab your Hawaiian shirt or grass skirt, and join the fun.

For information about the United Way of Grundy County or for resources, assistance, and information about the programs and services we fund, call 815-942-4430.

Visit our website at www.UWGrundy.org, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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