From homeless families to homebound elderly, there are many people in the East Valley who receive assistance from Mesa United Way-funded agencies. Some folks need shelter until they can get back on their feet again. Some women need counseling and a safe place to stay to break free from domestic violence. Some children need the mentoring and guidance that comes from programs for youth.
And those and other needs are on the rise. As the Tribune reported in September, Arizona's poverty rate has risen to 18.6 percent; the national rate is 15.1 percent.
You can help by supporting the Mesa United Way's 2011-12 pledge campaign, which started July 1 and ends June 30, 2012. So far, $300,000 has been raised toward the campaign's goal of $2,825,000.
Donations go to 27 agencies throughout the East Valley community that must meet rigorous conditions and oversight by the Mesa United Way. Donations to this campaign do not go to the United Way's operating costs; those expenses are covered by corporate sponsors and grants.
To help, visit www.mesaunitedway.org/give or call (480) 969-8601.
• A Helping Hand is our weekly spotlight on a volunteer opportunity in the East Valley. Find other ways to help at www.volunteermatch.org.