Our Galveston community needs you now more than ever. The United Way of Galveston Island is the umbrella that raises funds to help the local charities that support each and every one of you in your hour of need. And this year that umbrella expanded to support us through the Hurricane Harvey deluge of rain.

In addition to providing ongoing financial support to our 24 partner agencies, we rounded up volunteers to help Harvey evacuees, provided ongoing hurricane recovery information, and are distributing funds to many in need across the entire county through the Galveston County Recovery Fund.

Each of our partner agencies has stepped up to provide unique resources during the Hurricane Harvey aftermath. Now, more than ever, they need your financial assistance. We can help you support them by accepting your donation for the entire community and distributing it to them. We also provide leadership and training to our agencies. Recently, we have been recruiting volunteers to help our agencies in their specific physical needs, and that is an ongoing effort.

Who are the 24 United Way agencies that help all of us every day?

Our Galveston County Food Bank provides food directly to many, while Meals on Wheels delivers hot meals to elderly and disabled people in their own home. The Child Advocacy Center helps abused children, while Libbie’s Place assists seniors by providing adult day care.

Our Boy Scouts, YMCA, Boys & Girls Club and Big Brothers/Big Sisters provide programs for children and teenagers, while the Teen Health Clinic provides medical assistance to students in our local schools.

The ADA House assists those with substance abuse while the Resource & Crisis Center helps victims of domestic violence. The Salvation Army provides a hot meal and shelter for the homeless while NAMI Gulf Coast counsels the mentally ill and the Sunshine Center has wonderful programs as well.

The Moody Early Childhood Center provides early childhood education in a beautiful setting. St. Vincent’s House, LoneStar Legal Aid and Catholic Charities all benefit from the United Way campaign and are prepared to help each of us in need.

Most of these agencies do not have serious governmental or grant funding of any kind and depend on generous donors to keep their doors open. By contributing to the United Way, you support their mission directly.

So please participate in our community campaign this fall and help us help you. Visit our website at www.uwgalv.org to see the full list of our partner agencies. You can donate online, through your workplace campaign or just mail a check. Help make our community a better place for all of us. We all need each other — yesterday, today and tomorrow, and especially now after Hurricane Harvey.

Mary Ferris is board president for the United Way of Galveston.

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