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Your Letter: Help the United Way help the communities it serves

It comes as no surprise to anyone that the U.S. economy is in desperate straits. However, this downturn definitely has hit some harder than others. Most of us have jobs, our homes, warm clothing and healthy food. Consider yourself fortunate and share your good fortune with those who are lacking life's necessities.

One of the best ways to share is to donate to the Wadena Area United Way. Why is this true? Some of the reasons are:

• One gift helps 16 agencies and programs that have to have provided services in the area in the last year in order to qualify for funding.

• Administrative costs are low because funds are raised and dispersed by a volunteer board of local residents. In the last two years, campaign costs have averaged just 8 percent of income.

• A new hands-on project this past campaign assisted Wadena County Social Services and Otter Tail-Wadena Community Action to provide 207 backpacks filled with school supplies to students in Menahga, Sebeka, Verndale and WDC schools.

In addition to the above programs, the agencies included in this campaign's budget at Boy Scouts, Children's Home Society, Habitat for Humanity, Girl Scouts, Madhatters Youth Drama Camp, Rising Phoenix, Salvation Army, Tri-County Hospital, Meals on Wheels, Wadena RSVP, Wadena County DAC, Wadena County Crisis and Referral Program, Wadena Area Crisis Pregnancy Center, Wadena Food Shelf (which also serves Bluffton, Deer Creek, Aldrich and Verndale) and Wadena Senior Center.

If you live and/or work in any of the towns previously mentioned, you, your friends, your neighbors or your co-workers have been touched by one or more of the agencies and programs. Let's live up to our "Minnesota Nice" label and "Live United" through contributions to the United Way. It would be wonderful if more than the budgeted amount could be given to each agency, as the hard economic times have hit charitable organizations especially hard.

Please help us to meet or surpass the needed $25,000 for the 2009-10 campaign.

The Wadena Area United Way Board:

Wayne Grothmann

Bob Grendahl

Warren Hartman

Rex Heston

Gary Sellman

Marilyn Twete

Cindy Uselman