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THE United Way of King County is back with its annual request for generous donations through workplace giving and direct financial support.

The message is repeated because the need does not go away, but United Way can report extraordinary progress empowered by your dollars in action.

United Way partners with community programs working to end homelessness, provide youth services, promote early learning, offer health services and help older adults.

A top priority is providing for the most basic needs of food and shelter. Thousands of volunteers are key to feeding and housing the needy.

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The United Way’s goal is to raise $112 million by June 2014. Donations can be made with confidence the money will reach those in need. The program runs with minimal overhead. This effort is truly about those being served.

Those in need of generous rations of financial support and compassion include 233,000 King County residents who live in poverty. United Way reports nearly 9,000 people are homeless each night in the county.

Another top priority for United Way is helping every child get a solid start in school. That goal confronts the reality that 75 percent of low-income children are unprepared for kindergarten.

United Way knows the challenges, and the agency knows where to get the best value for donors’ contributions. Programs it supports are reviewed and audited for effectiveness.

Indeed, workplace giving, which raises two-thirds of the annual campaign budget, is a marvel of pragmatism. It’s one yearly request that fuels 12 months of community service.

If your company does not participate in the United Way campaign, ask why not. Leaders, donors and volunteers are always needed.

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