From one fund, many worthy beneficiaries

It seems like every day we are asked to donate to one cause or another, and then have to decide how much and which ones have the greater need. Making the decision how to allocate funds for all those who need help can be a challenge. While the need is great for those who are suffering from hunger, homelessness, abuse, mental illness or drug addiction, the solutions seem overwhelming if tackled single-handedly.

That’s where the United Way comes in to help address many of the needs in the North Country by uniting us all to advocate, volunteer and give money.

You may not be aware how the United Way of the Adirondack Region Inc. helps those in need in our region, but you can almost be sure you will, at some time, use at least one of the more than 40 agencies it supports. From youth to adult centers, from Boy and Girl Scouts to Hospice of the North Country, or Life Flight to Literacy Volunteers, the list goes on.

The United Way of the Adirondack Region not only supports health and human service programs but also coordinates the 2-1-1 Information and Referral System, helps health, safety and emergency preparedness, and coordinates the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance for Earned Income Tax Credit.

Donating to this single fund is easy. Do it through a payroll deduction at your workplace or with one donation; either way it helps cover the broad scope of needs in our area.

With the difficult economy and high unemployment, the need is great. That is why the goal of $775,000 from the counties of Essex, Franklin and Clinton may not be reached, according to Adirondack United Way Executive Director John Bernardi. So the urgent call goes out to ask you to act now to get the last $100,000 in by the end of the campaign on Jan. 31.

There are three options that will allow you to designate where you want your donation to go.

-Option A is the Community Impact Fund that supports all the programs that are evaluated by volunteers as to pressing need.

-Option B is the Targeted Impact Need that allows you to pick one area you’d like your donation to support. Such choices as education, that helps children and youth achieve their potential; income, that helps families become financially stable and independent; or health, with services to help maintain good physical and mental health and obtain long-term care.

-Option C is if you want a specific partner agency or agencies to receive 100 percent of your donation.

By combining all of our donations, it can really impact our local region. No donation is too small because every donation makes a difference. The need is great, and people are hurting. Your donation can make help lighten the load. Send a check, or spread it out with a payroll deduction to United Way of the Adirondack Region, 45 Tom Miller Road, Plattsburgh, NY 12901. For more information, go to or call 518-563-0028.