Letters to the Editor

Invest in United Way of Island County

I am writing on behalf of the United Way Campaign which is now under way in Island County. Many years ago, when I graduated from college and joined the work force, the United Way Campaign meant a short pep talk, a brochure and an envelope that came out every fall. I gave but I wasn’t aware of exactly how my gift got to the people in need of help in my community. After living and giving in Oak Harbor for the past 31 years, I am both older, wiser and amazed at how much a caring community does through their United Way gifts and volunteering.

For the past 21 years I have worked for a private non profit agency which serves infants and toddlers on Whidbey Island. During that time I have become very aware of the importance of United Way and of the needs of the agencies which work to meet special needs in our community for all ages. United Way of Island County has only two paid employees and a raft of amazing volunteers all of whom work tirelessly to respond to the needs of people in our community.

As an agency director, I am well aware of the rigorous attention given to every aspect of the programs who apply for United Way Funding. The allocation committee examines financial audits, salaries of staff positions, services provided, goals and measured outcomes for each agency. What a donation to United Way amounts to is an investment in our community with oversight. United Way allows us to designate which services or agency we want to support or not to support.

United Way helps to provide services when needs are rising and funding is dwindling. United Way donors are not always those with the largest bank accounts, but they include those whose lives are rich because they respond to the needs of others around them.

Give, advocate, volunteer! Everyone can make a difference.

Toni Kotschwar

Director, Toddler Learning Center

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