GUEST COLUMN: Give locally to make a ripple effect

By Angela DeBoskey

Making a difference starts at home.

As CEO of United Way of Hancock County, I hear from many community members who choose to support local causes because they know their gift will improve lives. Donors can see the results of their generosity directly, and sometimes even personally know the people they are helping.

But what they don’t necessarily count on is the fact that just one donation let alone thousands combined can cause a ripple effect that helps the entire community to thrive.

One study suggests that for every $1 donated, the collective community receives about $3 in benefits. That’s a direct $1 contribution to help a person in need, along with an additional $2 generated for the local economy by way of valuable life skills taught to clients and volunteers and an overall increase in quality of life.

In the short term, a family or individual is receiving vital emergency aid like food and shelter. Longer term, that donation is fueling the local economy. People living in poverty need opportunities for growth in order to move to more stable financial ground. When you support programs that help supplement people’s income, you are helping to strengthen a vulnerable population. Ultimately, that means more money is put into the economy as people shop at local businesses, contribute to the housing market and support local schools.

That single contribution furthering the donor’s sense of belonging within the community and its potential to inspire others to give locally? Priceless.

A recent count estimates that there are about 1.8 million nonprofits operating in the United States. With the end-of-year giving season approaching, you’ll likely hear from dozens of these organizations as they solicit your dollars. Many are doing good work and are deserving of your gifts, but as you make your selections, I urge you to consider lending your support to local agencies whose work is focused on improving lives right here in Hancock County.

United Way-supported programming helps 1 in 4 people, and it’s made possible by donors who choose to give locally.

We are an organization that prides itself on transparency and fiscal responsibility. If you are a donor or are considering becoming one, I encourage you to get to know our team and get familiar with our mission. Stop by our office and see for yourself who we are and the type of work we are doing, and maybe even get involved as a volunteer.

That’s just another great benefit of giving locally!

DeBoskey is CEO of United Way of Hancock County.

(This guest column appeared in the Oct. 25, 2023, edition of the Findlay Courier.)