Special to the News-Ledger
March 15 was declared “United Way Celebration Day” by the McPherson City Commission and McPherson County Commission.
Proclamations were signed by City of McPherson Mayor Tom Brown and County Commission Chairman Keith Becker on Monday, recognizing a record-setting campaign by United Way of McPherson County. The campaign raised $310,166.68.
“I am completely humbled by the generosity of our community,” United Way Campaign Co-Chair Chad Hitt said. “This has not been an easy time for many due to the pandemic. For our community members and local businesses to rise up and not only contribute to the Community Response and Recovery Fund to help those in need due to COVID, but to then put together the single highest campaign since the start of our McPherson County United Way is absolutely amazing. We as a campaign committee and members of the United Way board are so thankful and appreciative of our strong community.”
While this has been a challenging year for many due to COVID-19, it has also been a motivator for some to donate when they haven’t in the past. Megan Bell was a first-time contributor to the United Way campaign this year, and she said COVID-19 was what motivated her to give.
“This year, when the United Way Campaign was mentioned at my job, I knew I needed to give,” Bell said. “I hadn’t before, but this year I really saw how those funds help people I care about. I know some of my neighbors received help from the United Way when they lost their jobs last April. I wanted to make sure funds were available to help others in the future.”
Jayce McNeese was also a first time contributor. He said he was motivated to give because of his daughter Eliza.
“My daughter Eliza gets a book in the mail every month from Dolly Parton and the United Way,” McNeese said. “She is so excited when the new book comes, and we read it together. I wanted to give because of her and the other children that are enjoying the books. I hope the program continues for a long time.”
The United Way Campaign helps support 17 nonprofit programs which improve the lives of people living in McPherson County. United Way also operates the Community Response and Recovery Fund, providing assistance to people affected economically by the pandemic, as well as Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which mails free age-appropriate books to 775 preschool children throughout McPherson County each month.