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Guest column: Lets show community how we Live United
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Through the years, the United Way Annual Campaign has become synonymous with fall and the changing of the season. And as we have for the past 62 years, we launched that effort last week.

For more than six decades, our community through United Way has raised and invested millions of dollars to unite people, organizations and resources to improve lives in Hall County.

Since early in the year, our volunteer campaign team has been hard at work to ensure this campaign is a success. They set an aggressive monetary goal of $1.87 million and have achieved 25 percent of that through the efforts of our Cornerstone Campaign companies.

These are certainly difficult times for so many of our friends and neighbors. No time in our history has your financial support of United Way been more important.

This year, we’ve also challenged our community to go beyond giving financial resources. In addition to the very important and necessary monetary goal, we have added a goal of action. For the first time, we want to embrace and celebrate how you Live United to improve lives. Between Sept. 10 and Jan. 15, our goal of action is to gather 100 Ways Hall County Lives United. This could include coaching a youth sports team, reading to a classroom of third-graders, cleaning out a closet and donating gently used items to a thrift store, giving blood or starting a walking group in your neighborhood.

Anything you do that improves lives, even your own, we want to hear about. Visit the United Way’s Web site, take two minutes and write a few sentences about how you, your family, your neighborhood or your company Lives United. We want to inspire others with your community action.

As president of United Way, I felt we couldn’t challenge our community to be involved unless we at the United Way office led the way. As always, we conducted a campaign to raise funds in our own organization.

In addition, we as a group volunteered at the Guest House. I don’t know who enjoyed our lunchtime art project more: the United Way staff or the Guest House clients. The memories and new friendships from the time spent together will last a lifetime.

That’s one way we Live United. We look forward to hearing from you!

Thank you, Hall County, for accepting this challenge and having a tremendous impact on our community. Visit our Web site often to learn more about how you can give, advocate and volunteer to improve lives.

Jackie Wallace is President & Chief Professional Officer of the United Way of Hall County.