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As of May 16th The United Way of Dunn County is celebrating its 50th Anniversary! That is 50 years of facilitating the strengthening of our communities. What has been accomplished over the past 50 years?
• 6.96 Million dollars of financial support has been distributed to our program partners since 1965.
• $360,000 worth of other types of support, administrative, training, etc.
• 4.9 Million dollars’ worth of new and used building materials, household items and clothing since 2010 via the United Way Gifts In Kind program.
This has had a huge impact in Dunn County. If one were to break the numbers down a bit more, you would see the greatest impact has taken place since the turn of the century with 7.5 Million dollars of funding and support going out to our program partners, families and individuals since 2000. That is about $500,000 annually to support our communities.
As with everything, the United Way has been faced with changes over the years. We began as a strict fundraising organization, providing funding to the local nonprofit sector. Over the years The United Way of America has challenged all United Ways to have more impact in their communities. Simply put, do more with your money to create change with the funds generated in your campaigns.
Focus areas have shifted a bit to address critical needs preventing people from succeeding. Health, Education and Financial Stability can all be very limiting factors as an individual attempts to rise above their current position in life. How can you successfully maintain a job if you have an untreated chronic illness, or perhaps a medical emergency that has left you disabled? How can you compete in the job market without marketable skills, or assistance getting your GED so you can qualify for so many of the vacant jobs in the area? How can you financially provide for your family if you constantly struggle to put food on the table, or gas in your car so you can get to work, or pay the rent so you have a place to live? If you are struggling with any or all of these, you could find yourself needing assistance from one of our crisis program partners.
The United Way, through its Gift In Kind program, and each of our program partners provides services that fit into one of these focus areas. We are fortunate in Dunn County because the nonprofits, community businesses, government offices, retirees and educational systems all work collaboratively to address community needs. We make Dunn County so much stronger when we work together.
United Way has always worked hard to make the most out of every donation we receive. This can only happen if we engage with our community and program partners to address needs as they emerge. It has always been a source of pride to see what changes can take place over and above a dollar figure when community groups work together. Together we have and can continue to make things happen.
Join the United Way of Dunn County as we kick off our 50th Anniversary year at the United Way Free Spring Carnival on June 3rd! The event begins at 4:30 p.m. and runs until 7:00 p.m. at the Dunn County Rec Park.