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Eagle editorial: Keep United Way strong

  • Published Friday, Sep. 13, 2013, at 12 a.m.

The United Way of the Plains is taking a leap of faith by setting a $15.4 million goal for its fall campaign. Donors in and around the community now must demonstrate that trust is justified, by rising to meet the need.

The fundraising goal, $200,000 less than the $15.6 million raised last fall, cautiously reflects the looming exit from Wichita of Boeing, whose workers have given so much to United Way and other community causes over many decades. And the campaign kickoff breakfast Thursday at Century II came the same morning that Spirit AeroSystems added 150 layoffs of salaried employees and managers to the 360 job cuts it made in July at its operations in Wichita and Tulsa. The historic downturn in aviation manufacturing that has been so hard on the Air Capital can’t last forever, but it feels like it already has.

In the absence of enough jobs to go around, United Way of the Plains has been there every step of the way since 2008, helping laid-off workers and the agencies that serve them while promoting volunteerism. The organization’s focus on education, income and health gives it a large positive footprint across the region and population. To find out more or to contribute, visit unitedwayplains.org.

United Way and 2013 campaign chairman Scott Ernest, president and CEO of Cessna Aircraft Co., have set the bar high. By showing their signature generosity this fall, donors can keep the community as well as United Way going strong.

For the editorial board, Rhonda Holman

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