Help United Way make lives better

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September is Live United Month in Denton County, and it’s a great time to find out how you and the United Way can work together to make a big difference in our community.

The most obvious way to help is by financial contribution, either through a payroll deduction or one of the many special opportunities to contribute that will be offered during the coming month.

You may already be signed up to donate at work, but we’d also encourage you to take advantage of some special promotions being offered during September by several great Denton restaurants.

You can drop by one of the participating places and enjoy a meal knowing that a percentage of your purchase will go to the United Way of Denton County.

Kicking off the month is the Taste of Industrial Street, planned from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Dan’s Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St. in Denton.

Featured will be live music, drinks and raffle items, and tickets cost $30 for singles and $50 for couples. To check ticket availability, call 940-566-5851, ext. 111, or e-mail Emily@unitedwaydenton.org.

You can find a list of the other fundraisers planned next month by visiting www.unitedwaydenton.org. There will be plenty of opportunities to help, and all you have to do is visit one of your favorite restaurants and share some quality time with friends and family.

Financial donations are not the only way to contribute — there are many meaningful ways to help, and just about everyone has a talent or a skill that can be put to good use.

You can mentor at-risk children, conduct a basic financial workshop to help families in need or join the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

Live United Month provides a perfect opportunity to find out how an hour or two of your time each week can help change lives.

If you need ideas, we suggest your start at http://www.unitedwaydenton.org/volunteer. You can also visit one of several United Way of Denton County partner agencies listed on the website for more information about their community programs and how you can help.

Teaming up with the United Way of Denton County is one of the most effective ways we know to help your neighbors.

The organization’s mission is to improve lives in Denton County, and the need is great.

More than 8,200 children younger than 5 live in poverty, one in three students is at risk of dropping out of school and 13 percent of adults lack a high school diploma, according to information provided by the United Way.

There are approximately 52,040 households that are below the living wage, and 35,738 households pay more than 30 percent of their income in rent.

But thanks to the United Way of Denton County and generous people like you, partner agencies and impact initiatives provided school supplies, food and clothing to 3,029 Denton County children last year and 3,079 Denton County residents in need received rent and utility help, mortgage counseling and financial training.

Remember that income tax assistance program we mentioned?

Volunteers prepared nearly 600 tax returns for their neighbors last year, bringing $1,037,382 back into the Denton County economy.

We could go on, talking about such programs as affordable primary and preventative health care, home-delivered meals for homebound senior citizens, after-school programs to help young people stay on track, and shelters, counseling and other services for abused women and children.

But you get the idea — when we work together through the United Way of Denton County, we can help improve the lives of many of our neighbors.

And you know what? Helping others is a great way to make our own lives better.

You’ll find many other opportunities to donate, volunteer and get involved in our Community Guide, which will be published on Sunday, Sept. 29.

This new special publication will serve as a guide to local nonprofit agencies that improve the quality of life for all the people of Denton County.


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