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December 2, 2021| Lubbock Avalanche-Journal 

This past Tuesday offered another special moment in the distinguished history of the Lubbock Area United Way as the organization announced it had surpassed its 2021 fundraising goal.

The local United Way has been celebrating its 75th anniversary this year and has come a long way since its inception as Lubbock Community Chest in 1946. The mission and vision, though, have never changed with a steadfast focus on offering a hand up to local citizens in need.

The news Tuesday was overwhelmingly positive. First, campaign chairman Mark Griffin announced that just more than $5.9 million had been raised thanks to the generosity of those who call Lubbock home. Then he announced an additional $1 million donation from the CH Foundation to the United Way’s endowment fund. The gift was in recognition of United Way’s 75th anniversary and its legacy of making a difference in the community.

Overall, it was a magnificent day for the city and the Lubbock Area United Way. The official goal for this year was announced at $5,882,846 during the organization’s kickoff event in August. In the months since, numerous volunteers have worked tirelessly to raise funds that support 23 partner agencies in the community.

We would be remiss if we did not offer this reminder of the crucial role the Lubbock Area United Way plays in shaping and influencing this community. Certainly, the annual campaign commands attention from August to November, but the work of the United Way’s is a year-round endeavor.

We offer our congratulations to Griffin for this latest example of his outstanding community leadership. It is no secret that fundraising efforts have faced sustained headwinds as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Exceeding the goal during these challenging days is a reflection of his commitment to the cause. Likewise, it is another reminder of Lubbock’s giving nature. People here have a reputation for rising to an occasion and meeting a need.

 “Inspiring new stories every day. That’s what United Way and its community partners are in the business of doing,” Griffin said during Tuesday’s event. “You are part of that. You are a thread in that tapestry of stories that stretches from 1946 all the way to today.”

And not just today. Through its 75 years, more than $200 million has been donated by generations of West Texans in support of the local United Way. That is some track record of success. The funds support numerous initiatives such as providing affordable childcare, literacy, job training, youth mentoring and caring for those caught in the throes of calamity.

For more than 20 years, the local United Way has published an annual Community Status Report that offers insights that can inform ways to improve local services. Likewise, the United We Read initiative, a relatively new project, highlights the importance of literacy. The Lubbock Area United Way has partnered with other organizations to tackle community challenges such as child abuse, sex trafficking and homelessness.

Finally, as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in early 2020, it was the Lubbock Area United Way and the Community Foundation of West Texas that stepped up to create a fund that disbursed more than $1.6 million to meet pandemic needs.

Bottom line, the Lubbock Area United Way is devoted to improving the city’s quality of life for all who call it home. Reaching the goal each year allows the organization’s important work of Giving People Hope to take place.

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