Giving to United Way of King County is an investment in the people of this region who need help to improve their lives and succeed.

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THE people behind the United Way of King County understand that one small problem can snowball and a person with a job and home can suddenly be living on the streets.

The organization’s Navigators program pairs a caseworker with a homeless person and provides discretionary funds to quickly help that person get his or her life back on track. One man, a welder, was living in a shelter after not being able to work because he was behind on union dues. The program paid for the dues and tools the man needed, which allowed him to go back to work and rent an apartment.

United Way funds numerous effective programs and services this region needs to combat challenging problems and warrants more financial support.

The organization works with dozens of other nonprofits and service providers on four key efforts: reducing homelessness, increasing early education, enabling families to be financially stable, and helping youths who are not in school or working to access opportunities.

United Way focuses on measurable results. By 2020, for example, the organization aims to cut by half the number of unsheltered homeless, estimated at 3,772 in 2015.

That goal involves breaking down stereotypes about homelessness and using strategies that work, said Richard Galanti, chief financial officer of Costco, who chairs the United Way annual fundraising campaign with his wife, Barrie Galanti. The goal this year is to reach $126 million.

One way to give is through payroll deductions that many employers offer. If your workplace doesn’t provide that option, ask if it can.

Donors can feel confident their money will be put to good use. The United Way of King County puts 98 cents of every dollar raised into programs and services. Last year, the agency raised $112 million, of which $75 million went to nonprofit agencies that donors specified and the rest toward United Way’s four priorities.

The United Way’s efforts help tens of thousands of people in King County improve their lives and enter a path to success. The community should support this effective, comprehensive and determined organization with both donations and volunteer time.

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