Harford's stake in the United Way Local needs, local giving: This workplace charity appeal touches many of us each year.

UNITED WAY of Central Maryland is an umbrella organization in more than one sense.

Payroll contributions to the regional fund-raising effort go to help more than 100 local charitable agencies, donor giving that is returned to the community many times over.


And United Way provides a needed umbrella for those caught in the storms of life.

Harford County residents received more than $1.2 million in health and human services from United Way resources last year.


That helping hand reached out to a lot of us -- yes, us. In Harford County, more than 93,000 residents were helped last year by the United Way. In fact, one out of three people living in Central Maryland is touched by a United Way service each year.

Your money went to provide recreation and tutoring programs for the at-risk children in the Boys and Girls Club of Harford County, and to lay the groundwork for a new Edgewood club.

Funds from the United Way helped the disabled through the Hearing and Speech Agency and the Maryland Society to Prevent Blindness and the Association for Retarded Citizens of Harford County.

The combined charity drive gave shelter and sustenance and encouragement to battered women through the House of Ruth.

Meals on Wheels could serve hot, nutritious meals along with a cheerful chat to shut-in senior citizens with United Way assistance.

FACETS was able to provide residential and foster-care services to county children in need, at home and in the classroom.

More than 1,000 of our Harford neighbors were served in homeless shelters through the assistance of United Way grants.

Your dollars were used by the YMCA and YWCA Family Support Center to provide day care and social development programs.


Family counseling programs at agencies and churches received needed support.

The United Way pledge may be the most important donation that anyone in Harford County can make to charity this year, because its umbrella of care is so broad, because its funds are efficiently administered and because their use is carefully audited.

Please give generously when asked at your workplace, for the good of all of us.