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John O’Leary: Why United Way is important

  • Published Friday, Sep. 7, 2012, at 12 a.m.

You have been touched by a United Way of the Plains organization. I guarantee it.

United Way-funded agencies develop youths and build character, train people for new careers, provide financial counseling, deliver meals to senior citizens, and shelter families when disaster strikes. The United Way helps fund numerous nonprofit organizations in our area with a focus on education, income and health. You, or someone you know, has either given to or benefited from one of these organizations.

The United Way is a resource for helping support these nonprofits and, in turn, building on individual donations through at-work campaigns, many of which offer donation-matching programs and volunteer opportunities in a streamlined, well-coordinated process that minimizes the work for the donor and maximizes the benefit for the worthy cause.

Airbus is one of the many local businesses that have rallied around United Way. As we have grown, we are proud to have grown our support of the United Way. I serve as this year’s United Way campaign chairman.

Local companies can support the United Way through a myriad of options. For example, Airbus has partnered with the United Way to deliver an Airbus Foundation-sponsored program aimed at inspiring children to stay in school. The United Way is uniquely positioned to work across our community with organizations such as Communities in Schools, the Wichita school district, Wichita State University and the National Center for Aviation Training to deliver world-class programs.

It’s through programs such as these, supported by the United Way of the Plains, that our community thrives. Businesses small and large can get involved, and each can and will make a difference.

United Way unites these efforts and optimizes their results.

You can support that work and your community by supporting the United Way’s annual campaign, which starts now.


Vice president of engineering

Airbus Americas Engineering


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