May 9, 2022

Why United Way?

Sponsored Content provided by Richard McNinch - Retiree and Member of the UWCFA Campaign Cabinet , United Way of the Cape Fear Area

As a student, as a soldier and as a businessperson I have traveled the world – first a teenager living in America and then an adult visiting areas under third world conditions.  The rampant poverty, hunger and lack of opportunity feel all too familiar when I engage in community support in my home county and state.  As our society comes to be more stratified into “haves” and “have nots” the elements contributing to third world conditions are increasingly obvious right here in America and North Carolina.  I have been a United Way supporter for decades and once took the lead in my workplace to help carry the message to my peers and help drive support of the United Way mission.  As a consequence of my involvement, I was asked a number of years ago to lead an effort on behalf of the Blue Ribbon Commission on the Prevention of Youth Violence to have a playground built on open land at 10th and Rankin Streets – now known as Portia Mills Hines Park.  With the help of non-profit KABOOM!, BCBS of NC and numerous community volunteers we succeeded and what had once been considered a dangerous place became a family destination.

Over the years I have participated in the Cape Fear Area United Way annual allocation process, learning about local challenges, opportunities and just how robust results-oriented community investments have become.  Most recently I joined the annual campaign cabinet helping to drive the effort with education, government, and non-profit agencies.  Not surprisingly, on the backside of COVID, the need has never been higher.  While this may always seem to be the case, let’s remember all of the successes delivered year-over-year by the United Way to the community –  from support for teenage health to employment opportunities for senior citizens, from support of D.C. Virgo as a year-round magnet school to working with local entities to provide back-pack nutrition for those enduring unreliable food sources, from putting return-on-investment guideposts in place thru encouraging collaborative ventures to providing workplace campaign training for partner agencies – the list goes on and on.

So, why United Way?  Quite simply because the United Way is the most effective, the most efficient means of sharing very limited resources across a panoply of dire needs.  With an allocation focus on achieving a quantifiable return on investment and strong support for inter-agency collaboration, The United Way of the Cape Fear Area provides the broadest possible range of needs-based community impact.  I encourage everyone to learn more about our local United Way and reach out to see how you can help.

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