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Helping United Way Help

November 23, 1987

Millions of Southern Californians need help to get by, but in these days of lean government they often must look elsewhere for aid. Fortunately, they can look to the United Way.

The Los Angeles chapter, which serves Los Angeles County and parts of San Bernardino and Kern counties, provides help directly or indirectly to one out of three families, using funds from generous contributors.

The United Way helps finance traditional agencies like the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts. It also responds to newer and urgent needs, including those of the homeless, the hungry and of working women with children. It also provides disaster relief, as it did after the recent earthquake.

The current fund-raising campaign has a goal of $85.5 million to help 350 member agencies provide services as diverse as AIDS prevention, treatment of alcohol and drug abuse, day care, delinquency prevention, health care, immigration assistance, legal assistance, rape relief, and shelter for battered women and youth programs.

The organization's administrative costs are held down so that nearly 88 cents of every dollar contributed is spent directly on helping people.

Some contributors who were concerned by past reports of some United Way management practices should be reassured. A strong, new president, Leo P. Cornelius, has taken the helm. The charity deserves every confidence.

After the recent earthquake, the United Way pumped an extra $250,000 into the Red Cross. Member agencies responded quickly. In Whittier, the hardest-hit community, the Salvation Army provided special meals for diabetic senior citizens evacuated from a high-rise building. In the San Gabriel community, another area rocked by the temblor, teen-age members of YMCA clubs helped clean up homes, apartments and yards. In Pasadena, also close to the epicenter, guidance clinics, funded by the charity, sent counselors to schools to help children talk away their fears. The United Way, through its network of agencies, certainly made a difference that day.

Every day the charity responds to the needs of millions in California who would otherwise have to make do. That is reason enough for strong and continued support for the United Way.

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