This year's Jefferson County United Way campaign is moving rapidly toward its conclusion, and there is still work to be done.

As of Monday, 77% of the $350,000 goal has been raised, according to drive chair Joy Roney.

This year's goal is ambitious for a community the size of ours, but we've faced - and cleared - that hurdle before.

If history holds true, Courierarea residents will dig deep into their pockets to meet the needs of others.

It's been almost 60 years since this county had its first fund drive. In the beginning the annual campaign was known as the Community Chest. In the ensuing years, about $11 million has been raised and put to good use helping fund agencies that provide a wide spectrum of services in our community.

Fund raising is always a difficult task, especially this time of year when there are many worthwhile agencies seeking help from the community.

But, United Way touches so many lives that just about anyone can say they have been affected by the program.

Many of us are worried about our own financial well-being. But some of our neighbors are concerned that they might not be able to keep their children warm this winter or provide a nutritional meal.

So many of the agencies that receive United Way funding meet those immediate needs.

That's why we all must look beyond our own needs and try our best to help those who have more immediate concerns.

The money raised this year will be distributed locally next year to the 13 local agencies supported by the United Way. They are: Girls Inc., Boy Scouts of America Hoosier Trails Council, Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Lide White Memorial Boys & Girls Club/Family & Community Center, Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana, Southwestern Recreation Association, LifeTime Resources/Sentry Services, Southeastern Indiana Independent Living Center, La Casa Amiga, Turning Point, Salvation Army, American Red Cross and USO.

Please contribute to this year's United Way campaign. It's a way to show that you care about people.

If we don't support these agencies that do so much good, there is a chance we could lose them.

Many give through payroll deductions at the place of employment. But there are other ways to give. To donate to the United Way, call (812) 265-2036, or send a check to P.O. Box 193, Madison, IN 47250.