Families in Chautauqua County have been tested in 2020 in ways they have never been tested before.
COVID-19 and its associated school closures, general isolation and impact on people’s jobs and livelihoods have made this year one that many people will love to forget.
But before we turn the calendar to a year where things can hopefully begin returning to normal, there is a bit of business that has to be attended to — the annual United Way funding campaign.
We’re encouraged to see the United Way chapters in the Dunkirk and Jamestown areas working together on the 2020 campaign kickoff, as they have throughout the year to distribute COVID-19-related grants. We hope that communication and teamwork is a harbinger of things to come in the future between the two chapters. Of more immediacy, we hope the teamwork helps both organizations meet their campaign targets, because a fully funded United Way campaign has never been more necessary.
In the south county, the United Way provides funding to 43 programs that deal with many of the issues families are dealing with during the COVID-19 pandemic — family self-sufficiency, workforce readiness, helping young people in school and making sure help is available to those who need it. United Way programs help more than 20,000 people in a given year, and in no year are those programs more needed than this one.
Of course, the United Way can only help those programs if a community that has already dug deep digs a little deeper. We have heard ad nauseum how stretched government dollars are this year — but we know many family and business budgets have been stretched even further.
Thank you to the businesses who have already donated to the United Way’s 2020 campaign. Now, it’s time for all of us to do what we can do to support the United Way. To donate, visit www.uwayscc.org or give through your workplace’s campaign if it holds one. All donations remain in Chautauqua County.
We’ve dealt with a lot of changes this year, but the need for help faced by many of our families has only grown during the pandemic. We must all dig deep to do what we can to help.
**Article published in the Jamestown Post Journal, September 24, 2020, Section A4