United Way is an example of form and function

Published 5:21 pm Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dear Editor,

What if we had a group of people from throughout our community sit down and discuss the problems Dallas County face? And imagine this group pulling in others who have knowledge and skill in solving these problems. And what if this group put plans and programs together to work on new problems?

Sounds like a good idea right? Well it’s in action today and has been.

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The United Way of Selma & Dallas County has been that problem solving group for over 70 years.

United Way has been working with our agency partners to provide the programs that make life easier for all of us.

In the past five years United Way has invested over $1 million in our partners for these programs that feed the hungry, shelter the abused, provide our youth with recreation, and much, much more. United Way has also worked to bring in other partners from inside and outside of our community to provide services.

Eight years ago we began a partnership with Vaughan Community Health Services to begin HealthLink, a prescription assistance program. In that time HealthLink has helped thousands of our clients receive their prescription medications free or at reduced cost, saving them an estimated $10.5 million during the life of the program.

In collaboration with the UAB Selma Family Medicine and others United Way began the “Doc In A Bus” program four years ago to bring free medical care to the uninsured of our community, there are currently have over 700 patients on file. We have also begun a diabetic monitoring program to help provide educational materials as well as testing supplies to our clients that qualify.

This does not mean we are finished in Dallas County; it is just the beginning.

The United Way is right in the middle of the annual fund drive. The degree we can help our agency partners is directly affected by how much money we can raise each year. Several workplace campaigns are going right now, and more will start very soon. The campaign will run until the end of the year at which time we will count the pledges and start investing in those programs that will do the most good for Dallas County.

United Way will continue our work every day to find new and better ways to serve this community, and with your gifts of money, time and talent United Way will the difference in the lives of everybody in Dallas County.

Here’s a list of our agency partners: Salvation Army, SABRA Sanctuary, Bosco Nutrition Center, Red Cross, Special Years Plus, Special Pre-School Program, Cahaba Center, Easter Seals, Selma AIR, YMCA, Literacy Outreach, Boy Scouts, Central Alabama Regional Child Advocacy Center Selma Area Food Bank and Girl Scouts.

 Jeff Cothran

Executive Director, United Way of Selma and Dallas County