LETTER: United Way needs your help to meet community’s rising needs

To Ozaukee Press:     

As we close the 2017-18 United Way campaign this month, we find we have a shortfall of approximately $30,000 and we are asking for help. It’s going to take the whole community to do its part to help meet the growing needs in the community.     

Not only are the demands for services on the rise, but they are also increasing in complexity. Some of the most urgent concerns include mental health, children with behavioral difficulties, parents with drug and alcohol issues and challenges for our senior population. Compounding the problem is the fact that many of our nonprofits have seen funding cuts from other sources.       

The $30,000 that is needed immediately is just so we can match our financial commitments from last year to our 13 partner agencies—nonprofit service  organizations that provide critical services like Advocates, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Family Sharing and Ozaukee Family Services. The deficit doesn’t even take into account the 23% increase that the agencies are requesting to meet the growing needs of their clients.     

Here is an example of how the United Way responds to the needs of members of our community: Rob, a single father with three children, lost his job. He had no savings to cushion his family and was spiraling into financial crisis. Through the United Way homeless prevention fund, we were able to assist him with a partial month’s rent, allowing him to stay in his home. This was a critical lifeline for his family because they avoided eviction. At our last contact, Rob was once more employed and able to maintain his home for his children.     

Struggles like this to make ends meet are far too familiar in our community. The number of people requesting help with essential services in Ozaukee County has increased for the seventh straight. Nearly one-third of county households struggle to afford basic needs.     

Every dollar counts and is a small thank you to the agencies who tirelessly work to lend a helping hand to our neighbors in need. We are thankful for the generous support from our loyal donors and volunteers. However, we can’t lose sight that there is still so much more to do.     

We hope we can count on residents of our area to commit to building a stronger, safer and healthier community.   Send your gift to help a neighbor in need to United Way of Northern Ozaukee, P.O. Box 39, Port Washington, WI 53074, or go to our website at unitedwayno.org and donate today.  

Barbara Bates-Nelson

Executive director United Way of Northern Ozaukee 



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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