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. . . AND FACING IT AS A COMMUNITY

If ever anyone needed to know why he or she should give to the United Way, Tuesday's horrible events should have answered that question emphatically.

In response to the attack on our country, the public has shown it understands the importance of giving, now more than ever, as evidenced by the large turnout of blood donors at Red Cross centers around the nation. People desperate to help also donated food, clothing and shelter to those affected by the horrific events in New York City and Washington, D.C. In addition, agencies funded by the United Way provided grief counseling and other services suddenly needed by Western New Yorkers directly and indirectly affected by the attacks of terror.

This year, the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County announced a goal of $19.8 million for the Community Care Fund. The goal is $440,000 above last year's goal of $19.36 million, an increase of 2.27 percent. The campaign runs through Oct. 26.

The United Way Community Care Fund, which supports local programs, eliminates the quandary of having to choose between one worthy agency and another. There is a tremendous need in every area at the local level.

Donations to the Community Care Fund will have a widespread effect. Needs such as emergency food, shelter and links to other agencies and support for schools, businesses and children are just a few examples of the services provided under the United Way umbrella. The United Way annual fund also aids services for the elderly, counseling, health education and quality care for people battling cancer, heart disease, substance abuse and mental illness. It also aids programs to prevent children from becoming victims of family violence and abuse.

The reason for giving to the United Way Community Care Fund should be obvious, especially now. If ever there was a time to give, that time is now. Please be generous.

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