United Way keeps on giving

Published 9:52 am Friday, October 15, 2010

The Franklin-Southampton Area United Way marked an impressive milestone last week: 70 years of continuous service to the people of this community.

The organization’s slogan at the time of its founding — “Helping Franklin Help Franklin” — remains apropos today. Then, the country was still emerging from the Great Depression. Today, Franklin and Southampton County face perhaps their greatest economic challenge since the Depression era: the loss of the paper mill and sawmill that have been our community’s economic anchor.

The United Way, which kicked off its 2010 fund drive on the same night it celebrated its 70th anniversary, is needed now more than ever. The organization supports partner agencies that touch nearly every family in the community — from Boy and Girl Scouts and the YMCA to senior-citizen groups and child-mentoring programs.

The United Way’s Citizens Review Committee screens grant recipients for worthiness and holds those organizations accountable for wise use of givers’ money. One who gives to United Way can rest assured that the money helps people in this community who need it.

With the loss of International Paper Co.’s Franklin mill and continued unemployment for many of the mill’s workers, the United Way has lost its biggest source of contributions. Both IP and its employees gave generously to the annual fund drive.

We encourage those who are employed and financially blessed to dig deep this year and help the United Way keep helping our community.