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Now is the time for giving

Tuesday, Dec. 3, isn’t just another Tuesday. It’s GivingTuesday.

Nationally, the hope is that everyone performs an act of generosity or help — be it making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out, or showing up for an issue or people we care about.

Created in 2012, GivingTuesday has grown into a global movement that inspires millions of people to do good — giving, collaborating and celebrating generosity.

Locally, it’s a chance to let people know about the community’s nonprofits and the United Way of Prince Edward County and what they mean and contribute.

“This (is) another opportunity to help tell our story and the stories of our partners while encouraging the members of our community to financially support our nonprofits,” said Rucker Snead, president of the all-volunteer United Way Board of Directors.

The United Way has a goal of raising $65,000 to distribute to its 24 local nonprofit partners.

Nearly 94% of the money the group raises goes to its partners, and the United Way helps fund a litany of local causes, including helping support primary medical care for local uninsured individuals, nutritional and educational programs for area seniors, and a local food pantry for those with limited resources.

The United Way of Prince Edward County has already raised over $26,000.

The United Way has undertaken a number of fundraisers, including in late October when Centra Southside Community Hospital hosted a bake sale that made $752, and a stew sale earlier this month that netted almost $600.

Hundreds of letters soliciting donations from area residents have also been mailed out. Through the years, the letter campaign has been one of the United Way’s cornerstone fundraisers.

Meanwhile, the group is making plans for the third annual Great Duck Derby, which will be held May 1, in conjunction with the Heart of Virginia Festival and Live at Riverside presented by the Farmville Jaycees.

The United Way through many of its partners helps the neediest and those needing assistance in our community.

Prince Edward’s United Way has been partnering with the other United Ways in Virginia and across our country for the past several years as part of a growing effort to identify fellow community members who may need some assistance and to determine ways to assist them as we work to improve the quality of life in our community through the ALICE project. ALICE focuses on community members who are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed.

Child care providers, home health aides, mechanics, retail workers and even new graduates just starting out, young families, and retirees are among ALICE households. These households often also don’t qualify for governmental aid or social service programs, the Northern Shenandoah Valley statement noted.

Indeed, Prince Edward’s United Way recently informed its partners that promotion of ALICE and the various efforts to address the need is necessary.

The depth of the problem isn’t news to the United Way’s partners. Some partners — such as FACES, an organization whose mission is to provide emergency and supplementary food to qualified residents, and Piedmont Habitat for Humanity — say they serve that community.

“Almost all of our partner families meet the definition of ALICE,” said Sam Rabon, director of resource development and marketing for Piedmont Habitat for Humanity, several weeks ago.