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Pike United Way needs your help

It's not too late to help.

That simple message is being offered by volunteers with the Pike County United Way.

After a disappointing fund-raising drive in 2002, the United Way refuses to quit. To date, the effort has raised only about $33,000 toward its $100,000 goal.

And that shortfall means that the 15 agencies which receive funding from the Pike County United Way will feel the pinch in their budgets.

That means agencies like the Troy Charity League and the American Red Cross will have less money to fund services they provide for our neighbors in need. And programs such as the Pike County 4-H, which provides learning and life experiences for young people and teenagers, must struggle to overcome a double blow. For the second year, the 4-H program and nearly a dozen other community service organizations were denied subsidies by the Pike County Commission, which cited a lack of funds for the programs.

So our agencies are struggle to provide services, even as funding sources shrink

or disappear.

And our United Way leaders are still accepting donations. They're hosting the fourth annual basketball toss competition at the Feb. 8 Troy State basketball game, and they're hopeful that Pike County residents will choose to make individual donations.

It's a much-needed optimism, and now the United Way and its member agencies must rely on that optimism - and on the generosity of the Pike County community - to offset a disappointing year.

Donations may be sent to the Pike County United Way, P.O. Box 204, Troy, Ala., 36081.