To the Editor:

Keeping it local! The United Way of Southwest Minnesota (UWSWMN) is all about keeping it local. Funds raised here benefit folks in Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Yellow Medicine and portions of Cottonwood, Lac qui Parle, Nobles & Redwood counties. The UWSWMN board and staff work diligently and are certified in accountability standards earning distinction in four critical areas of public disclosure, governance, financial activity and fundraising practices. This is proven by our Charities Review Council “Meets Standards” Seal along with our Silver Seal of Transparency from Guidestar. These honors solidify our promise of responsibility, integrity and transparency to our donors and supporters.

Our current campaign runs through January 31st with a goal of raising at least $600,000. Through many generous donations we have raised $561,284.12 or 93.5% of this goal thus far. We are so close to reaching this goal and would love to meet or exceed $600,000. Any donations, great or small are very appreciated by the board, staff and especially our community partners and internal programs, who use this money to support many important services provided locally. United Way of Southwest Minnesota’s mission is to unite people and resources to improve lives and strengthen communities in Southwest Minnesota. This mission would not be possible if it were not for the generous hearts of people throughout our service area.

Not only does the UWSWMN provide assistance to our community partners, it also provides emergency funds for school districts in southwest Minnesota, including: Canby; Clarkfield; Dawson/Boyd; ECHO; Fulda; Hendricks; Ivanhoe; Lake Benton; Lakeview; Lynd; Marshall; Milroy; Minneota; Murray County Central; Russell-Tyler-Ruthton; Tracy Area; Westbrook-Walnut Grove; and Yellow Medicine East, including all public, private and charter schools.

As the current campaign chair, I have seen the generosity in our area first hand and would like to personally thank all of you that have already donated to this campaign. It is very humbling at times to not only see the donations coming in, but also the eye-opening needs in our communities. The dedication and volunteer hours from our community members and leaders is proof that humanity is still alive and well in southwest Minnesota.

Amy Herrick

United Way of Southwest Minnesota Campaign Chair

Wood Lake