The Norman Transcript

Opinion

September 18, 2013

Disasters, annual drivesshow our caring side

NORMAN — Disasters, whether they are tornadoes in Oklahoma, fires in Colorado or a tsunami in Indonesia, have a way of tugging first at our heartstrings and then at our pocketbooks.

Charitable citizens routinely send money towards relief and rebuilding efforts. The recent tornadoes in Moore and in eastern Cleveland County have brought in millions of dollars for various charities for use on rebuilding those areas.

That’s impressive and indicative of a caring community. Those dollars, however, are restricted and can’t be spent on the ongoing daily program needs. That’s where the annual United Way of Norman campaign comes in.

This year’s drive hopes to raise $2.5 million to fund 27 human and social service agencies and projects. The campaign officially kicked off with the Day of Caring Friday. Volunteers from 35 organizations spent the day making improvements to various worksites.

The Day of Caring is also the time when representatives of various Pacesetter divisions announce their fundraising success. This year’s Pacesetter total was just over $900,000. Annually, Pacesetter companies raise about half of the total drive’s goal.

Fundraising is never easy. This year’s United Way Board and campaign co-chairs James Chappel and John Koons have stuck with their goal. They know partner agencies will be challenged raising their own money.

Norman has a way of reaching down and helping those agencies no matter the outside challenges. When economic times got tough, the demands on agencies grew and donors responded. We don’t think this year will be any different and hope the Victory Lunch headline will be an easy one to write.

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