United Way of neighbors helping neighbors

Helping hands: Volunteers working during the Day of Caring on Sept. 7. Several people volunteered their time and energy to help tidy things up at the Salvation Army.

Dianne Riddles 

Crossroads Editor 

The United Way is a nonprofit, 501c3 agency that brings people and communities together. According to its mission statement, the United Way strives to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good.

According to Donor Management Director Judy Dial, the best way to help a group of local agencies is through the United Way.

“One of the reasons that I believe so strongly in the United Way is because United Way just encompasses so many different services that your dollar goes a lot further,” Dial said. “I feel good in knowing that every dollar I donate is being allocated in a way that is most beneficial.”

Dial explained that working at the United Way is a gratifying experience, if not just for the impact the agency has on people.

“I’ve worked for the United Way for 38 years and I love what I do very much,” Dial said. “My job is very rewarding because I see the difference that it makes.”

She said there are many different ways to donate to the United Way. Donations can be made via cash, check or credit card. Donations can also be made online or through a payroll deduction at the donor’s place of employment.

Dial said that the 19th Annual United Way of Lawton-Fort Sill Day of Caring took place on Sept. 7.

The Day of Caring, a day the Lawton-Fort Sill United Way established in 1994, promotes the spirit and value of volunteerism and increases the awareness of agencies that meet the critical needs in our community.

“This day demonstrates what people working together for the community’s good can accomplish,” she said.

According to Dial, there are many events throughout the year that United Way partner agencies host, in which the community has the opportunity to take part.

Dial will be hosting one such event, the United Way Whopper Day on Oct. 9, a fund-raiser that will raise 50 cents for each Whopper sold at all Burger King locations.

According to Christina Erman, CEO of the United Way partner agency Roadback, Inc., there are several upcoming opportunities for the community to show support for the services provided by this agency.

She further explained that Roadback, Inc. would be hosting the annual outreach event, Moonlight Walk against Drugs on Oct. 17, at Elmer Thomas Park, and that the Second Annual Roadback, Inc. Golf Scramble would be at 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, at the Ft. Sill Golf Course.

Additionally, Roadback Inc. is currently and through the end of the year offering a Cinnabon card that is redeemable at Central Mall. The card costs $10 and is redeemable for four cinnamon rolls.

Proceeds from these fund-raisers will benefit drug and alcohol treatment as they did in 2011, when more than 4000 prevention and education contacts were made in outreach efforts and 556 individuals were treated.

According to Armed Services YMCA Director of Administration Kate Whitehead, the Armed Services YMCA will be hosting the Fifth Annual Armed Services YMCA Y-fry, 5-8 p.m. on Nov. 14 and 15, at the Comanche County Coliseum. This event will raise money to help soldiers and their families such as they did in 2011, when the branch was able to offer outreach services to 12,199 clients.

The United Way of Lawton-Fort Sill currently has 19 funded agencies that contribute to the needs of our community as well as helping others in the surrounding area.

Information on volunteering, donating and connecting with the Lawton- Fort Sill United Way can be found on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, and is available at www.uwlawton.org.

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