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United Way donations touch young lives

I have the privilege of serving as the honorary chairperson for this year’s United Way campaign.

First State Bank has been a long-time supporter of United Way and the important work it is doing to help so many underprivileged youth and families in our community.

I also appreciate the fact that the annual United Way campaign is truly a community process. It is all about hundreds of people coming together to support a community-wide effort to make a difference in the lives of the youth and families in our community.

The 2023 United Way campaign has kicked off and we are very hopeful that this year’s campaign will be successful. This will only happen if our community steps up and shows its support. United Way’s theme this year is Offering Kids Hope for a Bright Future. This theme is based on charitable dollars donated to this year’s campaign and used to support important projects, programs and organizations that are helping impoverished youth overcome the challenges they face. Ultimately, we want them to reach their full potential academically and developmentally so they will have a chance for a future filled with hope. What can be sadder than a child that looks at a future with little or no hope? As a community, we can do something to change this and that is what United Way is all about.

The quality of a community is often measured by how they support their youth. I couldn’t agree more with this statement. As individuals and as a community, it is crucial that we help prepare our youth for the future. After all, they will be our future workforce, parents, community and business leaders. A small investment in their positive development today will pay great dividends in the future.

You may be as surprised as I was to learn that close to 25 percent of our youth today are living in households that are in poverty or close to the poverty level. These kids are fighting an uphill battle to overcome the trials and tribulations that poverty challenges them with every day. United Way is finding ways to offer them a helping hand so these kids have a real chance of reaching their potential and having a much more hopeful future.

It is because of the generous and altruistic financial donations from individuals and companies that the United Way can support and spearhead projects and programs to help remove barriers for these children. We can all become agents for positive change and make a difference in the lives of youth by contributing to this year’s campaign.

Be it in your place of work or if you receive a campaign letter asking for your support, I hope you will consider donating. One hundred percent of every dollar donated to the United Way campaign stays right here in our community. These dollars are used efficiently and in ways that make the greatest impact. Your donation can help touch the lives of many children in need.

Donations can be made payable to the United Way of Greater Fort Dodge, 24 N. Ninth St.,Suite B, Fort Dodge, IA 50501. Or you can donate online by accessing United Way’s website at www.unitedwayfd.org. For questions about the campaign, please call United Way’s office at (515) 573-3171.

Kraig Barber is president of First State Bank and honorary chair of the 2023 United Way campaign.

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