Thermometer rises for United Way

Tiffany Haynes

Tiffany Haynes

The tempeature may be low outside, but the United Way’s donation thermometer is rising. A large United Way fundraiser thermometer stands along Medary Avenue.

United Way in Brookings had the goal of raising $400,000 from 2005 to 2006. Currently, the donations have surpassed $410,000.

In Brookings County, there are more than 20 member agencies.

United Way was started in 1887 in Denver, Colo. A priest, two ministers and one rabbi began the program when they recognized the need for an organization to help collect funds for local charities, coordinate relief efforts and council and refer clients to cooperating agencies.

Today, there are more than 1,300 communities that participate in United Way. Each organization is independently governed by local volunteers.

According to its Web site, the organization discovered that by focusing on the root of problems, more people could be helped. It takes the whole community working together to solve problems.

The United Way’s mission statement is “to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power in communities.”

The Brookings Area United Way Web site states donor dollars touch one out of three members in the community.

Dolly Parton has an Imagination Library that gives children ages 5-years-old and younger free books. In order to be eligible for the books, the child has to be a legal resident, have a parent working in the city or the child has to be enrolled in preschool in Brookings County.