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Column: United Way Contributions Yield Incredible Returns in LOU Community

By Kurt Brummett
for Hottytoddy.com
kurt@unitedwayoxfordms.org

Help. Four letters, one syllable, and yet help can be the most difficult word in the world to say, at least for me. However, while I often struggle to ask for help when I am the recipient, I have no such hesitation when it comes to the Lafayette-Oxford-University (LOU) community.

At a time when growth and development are an everyday occurrence in Oxford, the past few years have been extremely difficult for the United Way of Oxford-Lafayette County (UWOLC) and many other local nonprofit organizations as needs within the LOU community have substantially grown at the same time charitable giving has significantly decreased. The reasons behind the giving declines can be traced to tax law changes and other factors, but the causes pale in comparison to the impact.

The UWOLC currently supports 21 local programs and thousands of Lafayette County residents through its annual grant process. The assistance arises from the generous contributions the UWOLC receives. However, the grant funds applicants request each year far exceed the available dollars, which has been particularly true in recent years as the amount requested has at times doubled the amount awarded. While increased contributions enable more residents to be served, decreased donations do not cause the LOU community’s needs to diminish. In fact, the opposite holds true as unmet needs frequently foster additional needs.

While we often think we are immune to difficulties others face, no one knows what tomorrow will bring. No one expects to receive a grim diagnosis at a routine checkup or to be involved in a serious accident. No one wants to be laid off or victimized. However, expectations do not always match realities and I have witnessed people’s distress and desperation as they seek assistance they never thought they would need.

While the past few years have been my most difficult from a professional and personal perspective, at no point have I worried about losing my home. I have never required assistance as the victim of a violent crime. I have not been forced to decide between paying for my child’s medication versus food for my family. I have not agonized over a loved one’s struggles to read or succeed in school. However, many Lafayette County residents have faced such situations and untold more will do so in the future.

So, whether you drop change in a donation canister, donate to the annual campaign, sponsor the United Way Flashback Bash, or give to its endowment fund through the CREATE Foundation, the UWOLC needs and appreciates your support as we all partner together for the betterment of Oxford and Lafayette County. Every contribution is an investment and yields incredible returns throughout the LOU community.

A great aspect of help is it often inspires another four-letter, one-syllable word: hope. Help inspire hope for Lafayette County residents by partnering with the UWOLC to invest in the LOU community. Every dollar matters and, most importantly, every person matters as we all work hand in hand to make a meaningful difference.

For those interested in making a commitment to the Oxford-Lafayette community, please follow this link.


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