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As news reporters, we see the sad realities of the world we live in every day. Fires destroy families' homes, the economy forces businesses to lay off employees, drug dealers threaten to tear communities apart. But just about every bad story has a silver lining somewhere, and many times it can be found through United Way.

United Way strives to improve lives by bringing people together to care for one another. Your donations are a crucial part of that mission. The agencies that receive funding from United Way create guardian angels who can help make bad times good, and good times even better.

Donating $1 to United Way might not seem like a difference-maker, but imagine the things we could do if every person in Blair County donated just $1...

EDUCATION: Your donation creates opportunities to help children and youth achieve potential. Library programs, after-school programs and summer education programs allow students to have greater opportunities for learning.

HEALTH: Your donation allows Blair County residents young and old alike to maintain physical and mental health.

INCOME: Your donation allows individuals and families to attain financial stability and independence.

EMERGENCY NEEDS: Your donation helps families in emergencies get the services they need to be safe and to start over.

Our hope is that you will open your hearts to the programs supported by United Way. Every dollar makes a difference. No donation too small. In these difficult times, more and more of our friends and neighbors are counting on help from community agencies, and those agencies are counting on funding from United Way.

With your generosity, we can make the 2011-2012 campaign the best yet. Please open your heart. Flex your muscle. Find your voice.

Together we can make a difference where we live.