United Way good for the community

Posted: Friday, September 19, 2008

So many of us are told that it's good to set goals. We use them to meet budgets, educate ourselves, achieve careers, become healthier, more organized or reach destinations we've only dreamt about.

Setting goals is a positive way to make changes.

That's why the Kenai Peninsula United Way sets new goals every year.

Last year the organization strived to achieve $700,00 in donations for the 29 agencies that it serves. What it wasn't expecting was not only to meet that goal, but also to surpass it by $135,000.

"It's just incredible that a place the size of the peninsula can raise that kind of money," campaign chair Joe Gallagher said this week. "That's something to be proud of ... .

"As a community we can do so much more than we ever could as an individual," he said.

This year United Way has set its goal a little higher: $750,000.

That may seem ambitious, considering today's economy, but the Kenai Peninsula United Way has something going for it that other agencies don't: the Kenai Peninsula community.

If there's one thing great about living where we do, it's that we take care of our own. The 29 agencies under the United Way are spread throughout the peninsula so each person has somewhere to turn in their time of need.

We can help them, too, by giving back to our community. There are six types of agencies out there -- senior citizen outreach, health and rehabilitation, family resources, food and shelter services, crisis intervention services and youth programs. And the good news is all the money donated on the peninsula stays on the peninsula.

You can donate directly to any one of the agencies or let the designation board determine the best choice for you. Those benefitting include the Kenai Peninsula American Red Cross, Anchor Point Senior Center, Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Alaska-Homer Program, Boys and Girls Club of the Kenai Peninsula, Boy Scouts Great Alaska Council, Cook Inlet Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Forget-Me-Not Care Center, Frontier Community Services, Girl Scouts-Susitna Council, Homer Children's Services, Homer Senior Citizens Friendship Center, Hospice of the Central Peninsula, Hospice of Homer, Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic, Kenai Civil Air Patrol Cadets, Kenai Peninsula Community Care Center, Kenai Peninsula Food Bank, Kenai Peninsula Youth Court, Kenai Senior Center, Ninilchik Senior Center, The Salvation Army-Kenai, Seaview Community Services, Seward Senior Citizens, Soldotna Senior Citizens, South Peninsula Behavioral Health SVC, South Peninsula Haven House, Sterling Senior Citizens, Leeshore Center and Love INC of the Kenai Peninsula.

"When you combine your individual efforts with the community and your neighbors, it multiplies, and suddenly you've done great, great things," Mr. Gallagher said.

Together we can continue to do great things for our neighbors, our communities and ourselves. That's a goal worth striving to achieve.

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