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Give thanks and give back

During this Thanksgiving week, United Way of Oxford & Lafayette County asks all who live in Lafayette County-Oxford-University (LOU) to consider a gift to our community. A contribution to United Way makes a lasting impact for thousands of children, individuals and families by helping to bring quality education, good health and financial stability to LOU’s most vulnerable.

United Way is a local, independent nonprofit organization that has served Lafayette County since 1970. 99 cents of every dollar raised in LOU stays in LOU, allowing United Way to support almost two dozen partners and help make possible a wide variety of essential community services.

These services include, but are not limited to: adult literacy education (the Lafayette County Literacy Council); after-school and summer learning opportunities for children with limited access to other programs (Gordon Community & Cultural Center, Horizons and Leap Frog); counseling for child and adult victims of crime (Family Crisis Services); disaster relief (American Red Cross); emergency food, mortgage, rent and utilities assistance (Interfaith Compassion Ministry and the Pantry); meals for homebound seniors (Meals on Wheels); and supports for families committed to transitioning out of homelessness (Doors of Hope). United Way also plays a leadership role with two thriving coalitions, Excel By 5 and LOU Reads, which bring together dozens of local organizations to address some of LOU’s most complex long-term challenges.

Each year, United Way leads a community fundraising campaign. Although the fall has traditionally been “fundraising season,” the campaign now kicks off in mid-summer and runs through at least mid-spring. United Way knows our community’s needs are growing and that there is never a “slow time” for the organizations serving those in need. Now, United Way needs your help! Whether you choose to give as an individual, through your workplace or as a business, your dollars make a meaningful difference.

The 2015 campaign goal is $540,000, with approximately $150,000 officially pledged to date. Many workplace campaigns are still underway, or have wrapped up but not yet reported, including the two largest, the University of Mississippi and Winchester, which last year raised almost $250,000 combined. One thing that is very clear, however, is that the community’s help is needed! As you give thanks for family, friends, health, education and other blessings, please consider those less fortunate and make a gift to United Way.

To learn more and make a donation, please visit www.unitedwayoxfordms.org. You can also watch our 2015 campaign video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmL5lzbak4k.

Alice Ricks

Executive Director

United Way of Oxford & Lafayette County