The Ottumwa Courier

February 1, 2013

United Way’s focus is not on gun control


OTTUMWA — Some local citizens have recently contacted United Way concerning our position on gun control, and I would like to take this opportunity to answer their inquiry.

United Way of Wapello County does not have a position on gun control. We’re not aware of any local United Ways that have taken a position on gun control, either. Rumors to the contrary are false.

United Way is a worldwide network in 40 countries. We advance the common good through our focus on education, income and health as the basic building blocks of a good quality of life. Partners funded by United Ways that have committed to this community impact model must demonstrate outcomes in reaching goals in key focus areas. At the local level, our three main goals are:

• Increase the number of children who are prepared to succeed in their early elementary school years.

• Increase the number of working families who are financially stable.

• Increase the number of youth and adults who are healthy and avoid risky behaviors.

The values of United Way are embodied in our LIVE UNITED campaign. This is a call to action — an invitation for everyone to join us, regardless of their stance on various issues — to move forward on these goals. It’s going to take everyone working together — giving, advocating and volunteering — to make progress on these goals across the community. Meanwhile, we invite varying points of view and voices to all come together so we can move forward.

Desiree Johnson

president and CEO

United Way of Wapello County