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Make a dollar go a long way

In a few days, having given and received generously with friends and loved ones, let us all consider giving something back to our community.

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is timely for giving. The spirit of generosity that marks the Christmas season lingers for a few days before giving way to the cold reality of mortgage payments and Visa bills. There also are practical benefits to making a charitable contribution before Dec. 31 — namely the opportunity to lighten your 2016 tax burden.

Perhaps you have a single charity or cause about which you’re passionate. Give a donation. Or if you’d like to cover a wider spectrum with your dollars, consider giving to my favorite non-profit organization: the United Way.

A dollar given to the United Way of Prince Edward County touches many organizations and thousands of people right here in our community. There’s something especially satisfying about knowing that your donation has that kind of reach.

Consider carefully the following list of United Way beneficiaries and the people — perhaps many you know — whose lives are enriched by their services:

Boy and Girl scouts, Meals on Wheels, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, FACES, Virginia Legal Aid Society, Heartland Horse Heroes, Piedmont Senior Resources, the Southside Family YMCA, Prince Edward-Farmville Youth Athletics Association and Tri-County Life Learners.

The United Way has an extensive screening process for its beneficiary agencies and holds them accountable for how donations are spent. As a citizen and as a newspaper publisher, I get requests every week for monetary donations. I don’t have time to check out the legitimacy of every organization and cause. With the United Way, I don’t worry about being scammed.

As of Monday, the Prince Edward chapter had raised about $28,900 toward its 2016 campaign goal of $50,000. Let us work collectively, in the last days of this season of generosity, to put the campaign over the top — and make 2017 a little brighter for our fellow man.

STEVE STEWART is publisher of The Farmville Herald. His email address is steve.stewart@farmvilleherald.com. The United Way’s mailing address is P.O. Box 122, Farmville, VA 23901. Donations can also be made online at www.uwprinceedward.org.