Last updated: May 20. 2014 4:02AM - 439 Views

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The United Way of Southern West Virginia does not have the reputation of backing away from challenges.

From easing the plight of people in our pockets of poverty, to helping children, to aiding the elderly, the charity has done so much to make our lives and our community better.

For many people, the funding and the volunteer work the United Way provides often goes mostly unseen — except by those in need who are direct beneficiaries of the organization’s spirit.

But this year, the challenge may be the biggest the organization has faced in some time.

Just off a successful campaign that met a goal of raising $525,000, next year’s ambitious target will be $825,000, a 57-percent increase.

Much of the funding target’s increase is due to the greater area that United Way of Southern West Virginia will be covering.

Following the removal of the tax-exempt status of United Way of the Virginias, United Way Worldwide withdrew its membership last December as financial irregularities were revealed within that chapter. United Way of Southern West Virginia quickly volunteered to expand its reach into Mercer and McDowell counties, and into Bluefield, Va.

Because the needs of the 50 non-profit agencies United Way serves in those areas remain.

The area of coverage expanded, but the United Way of Southern West Virginia is prepared to expand its fundraising into those areas, also.

We have no reason to believe that deserving organizations serving local needs in its traditional areas of operation will have to go without in order for the charity to serve its new charity.

Still, the major increase in its funding goals is an ambitious, and even daunting, undertaking.

A call to serve the needy not just in its traditional areas of operation, but the poor, the sick, the elderly, the children and others in Mercer and McDowell, and in Bluefield, Va.

It’s the right thing.

— The Register-Herald, Bleckley

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