The word “love” adorns a centerpiece at the United Way Galveston County Mainland 2016 Campaign Kickoff Luncheon at the Doyle Convention Center in Texas City on Wednesday.

Stuart Villanueva/The Daily News

Today is a good day to recall some of the community and business leaders of the previous generation.

Every place has them, people who make a habit of putting some of their personal success back into the larger community. It seems as if they kept a list of things you had to do to be a good citizen.

You had to vote, of course. You had to keep your property up and your taxes paid. And you had to support the United Way.

Galveston County has two United Way organizations — one on the island and one on the mainland.

Both just started their annual drives. Together, they’re hoping to raise about $3.5 million.

Sometime this fall, a volunteer with one of those organizations is likely to contact you.

Please look for a way to say yes.

There are good reasons to support these drives.

First, these drives support homegrown organizations.

The United Way boards spend a lot of time trying to get resources to the charitable organizations that address real needs.

There’s accountability in that process.

Second, volunteers do an awful lot of the work in raising money. That means administrative costs are remarkably low. Your dollars get to where they’re needed.

The United Way groups support member organizations that provide a range of services. Some serve the elderly. Some serve kids.

All serve people in need. A healthy community needs that variety.

Time and again, you’ll hear people talk about the importance of giving back to the community.

Most of us will never be able to donate a big tract of land for a public park or leave an endowment to fund a library, but we can all contribute a little of own success to help others and help make our communities better places to live.

United Way offers a convenient and effective way to accomplish that worthy goal. Many people at The Daily News and at other companies, for example, enroll in the United Way’s Fair Share program. You donate once a week an amount equal to an hour’s pay. It’s a fire-and-forget method that can generate a lot of money to accomplish a lot of good.

Now’s the time. It’s the right thing to do.

Michael A. Smith

Contact Editor Michael at 409-683-5206 or michael.smith@galvnews.com.​

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