Christmas is a time for giving, and maybe you already have given to a variety of good causes this holiday season, like the Kiwanis food drive or the American Legion toy drive or the Community Christmas Dinner. But there is another community charity that helps all ages of McPherson residents through the whole year. That is the United Way. And the United Way really needs your help now to make up a $55,130 shortfall in its current campaign. The United Way is trying to make a last push to meets it goal for the 2012 funding season. It has set its goal higher this year — $215,000, up from $208,554 raised last year.  Why the increase? The last few years have been tough on everyone. Local charities are seeing more needs in the community. State and federal funding has been cut. Charities are needing to supplement their budgets, or they will be faced with cutting services. In addition, United Way officials are anticipating more programs will request funding this year. All the money raised through the McPherson County United Way stays in the community. United Ways helps provide seniors with meals through Meals on Wheels, gives kids with special needs chances to play sports through Special Olympics, helps women and families who have suffered from sexual and domestic violence through the Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Center and assists families and individuals find ways out of poverty through the Steps to End Poverty of McPherson County program.  Other non-profits funded last year included American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boy Scouts of America — Quivira Council, Boy Scout Pack No. 117, Boy Scout Pack No. 130, Boy Scout Troop No. 117, CASA, The Children’s Center, Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland, Health Ministries Clinic, Heart to Heart McPherson Child Advocacy Center, McPherson County Council on Aging, McPherson Family Life Center, McPherson Family YMCA, McPherson Housing Coalition, Salvation Army and United Cerebral Palsy. Many Americans have been fiscally conservative in recent months and years, waiting to see if economic recovery will be lasting. Some have reduced their giving to United Way or stopped their giving all together. You do not have to give through a payroll deduction to give to the campaign. One-time donations can be sent to United Way of McPherson County, P.O. Box 55, McPherson, KS 67460. All donations are tax-deductible. Contributions made through the end of February will count toward 2012 funding. You don’t have to break the bank to make a big investment in the McPherson community.  Do you have a little money left over from your Christmas bonus? Did someone bless you with a little cash this Christmas? Maybe you can skip the after-Christmas sales. Think about sending a few extra bucks to the United Way. If everyone helps a little, we can make a big difference.


—The Sentinel Editorial Board