Living united, together

These two very powerful words describe how all of us in southwest Minnesota can contribute to the common good. They describe how what we do today can create lasting change. They describe how investing today can impact the future. And they describe how lending your time and talents can mobilize neighborhoods and improve communities.

An important part of United Way of Southwest Minnesota’s work is the annual citizen review of local not-for-profit organizations that seek affiliation and grant funding from United Way. It’s an exciting process to be a part ofaffecting change in our community both now and into the future. Volunteers also find that this is an excellent way to learn more about the area and its human-service network.

How does it all work you might ask? Teams of volunteers are assigned to review a group of organizations providing services/programming by impact area. Funds that were raised during the recent annual United Way campaign are invested back into services that benefit people in the areas of Education, Income, Health, Hunger and Promoting Safety and Well-being. Volunteers from across Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Western Redwood and Yellow Medicine counties work together to conduct site visits of agencies, review program goals and anticipated results and then make recommendations to the United Way of Southwest Minnesota Board of Directors.

This is an assurance to donors of the annual campaign that each donation is used as wisely as possible, where it does the most good and that it makes a difference for the people of our area. This is an important way for United Way to assure local community impact. Volunteers generally spend up to eight hours (usually in hour-long blocks) over five to six weeks of time from mid-April through the end of May conducting the reviews and preparing recommendations. All volunteers attend an orientation prior to the review work.

I invite you to work in partnership alongside us to make long lasting community impact right here where we live. There is great people power in ‘Living United’…together.

For more information on how you can work in partnership with the United Way of Southwest Minnesota visit our website at, give us a call at 507-929-2273 or stop by our office on South 5th Street in Marshall.

The United Way of Southwest Minnesota is a local, autonomous organization working to create lasting change in people’s lives throughout the communities in Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Yellow Medicine and western Redwood counties. Our focus is on education, income, health, safety and well-being and hunger.