Editor's Note: The United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley is conducting its 2012-13 Campaign with a goal of $777,777. Examples of how United Way campaign dollars assist area residents are featured below.
"Joan" is a single mother of four struggling to provide for her family. She approached the Brooke County Salvation Army for help last year during the Christmas sign-up. The Corps gave her a Thanksgiving food box, as well as Christmas toys for her children, clothing and food.
Campaign funds from the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley helped make such assistance possible.
Shortly after the Christmas, the Salvation Army staff received a "thank-you" note from Joan. She had enclosed a $20 bill. Joan explained that she had received some Christmas gift money from a relative. She sent it to the corps so someone else could receive help.
Meanwhile, a young man walked into the Marshall-Wetzel County Salvation Army last November with a wrestling action figure for a child on the corps' Angel Tree. He said he had a few dollars and wanted to do something for a disadvantaged child in the community.
During his visit, he told the corps captain he had been off work for the past two months because of a mining accident that had cost him part of one finger. But he was going to the doctor that next week and expected to be released to return to work.
Those two months off work had taken a toll on his finances, however. His mortgage company had agreed to let him remain in his house and pay three months' mortgage in January. His savings were nearly exhausted from his utility bills and food. In fact, he had received a shut-off notice for both electric and water service, but he did not have enough money to pay for them.
As he talked, he revealed he had never been in such a position before. He worked hard and spent and saved his money wisely, yet he was on the verge of losing electrical and water service. He did not know what to do or where to seek help.
When the captain told him about the Salvation Army's assistance programs, the young man said he felt ashamed that he had to ask for help. The captain assured him that everyone needs help at some point in their lives - and that is the purpose of the Salvation Army.
Thanks to funds from the United Way and other resources, the corps was able to help him with the utility termination notices. His doctor released him to return to work and begin the process of financial recovery.
The United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley helps 30 area agencies provide services for local residents of all ages. To make a donation or for information about organizing a workplace campaign, contact the United Way at 51 11th St., Wheeling, WV 26003 or call 304-232-4625.