United Way deserves support from community

JSSP Letter to Editor

By Bob Toso | Jamestown

Once again it is time to consider your support for the United Way and all the good they do for our community. I coordinate one of the programs they support. Imagination Library sends a free book, every month, to children between the ages of birth and 5. All their parents must do is register. The program has been active in Stutsman County for a little over seven years. Currently, we are sending out about 540 books every month to children throughout the county. We have had 831 children "graduate" from the program. We have also had many children move out of Stutsman County, so they are transferred to a program in their area. We must have provided books to around 1500 kids in the past seven years!

The last book a child gets is "So, You Are Ready for Kindergarten." This program provides encouragement for parents and children to read together daily. I have talked to many parents over the years and I always hear how excited their children are when the new book comes, because it comes to the child. Children aren't used to receiving mail, sot that is a special occasion. The program has sent out 5,893 books over the years. This could not happen without the support of the community, as it does cost us about $25 a year for each child that is registered. Much of that support comes from the United Way. They provide about 75% of our costs for the books. The other 25% comes from service clubs and other organizations and individuals who value the program. There are no local or national administration costs for Imagination Library. The dollars you donate are only for books for kids. Any program that supports parents reading to their children is worthy of a community's support. So, please, during the pledge drive at work or for fundraisers for the United Way, remember all the worthwhile programs that they support. Your dollars are going to a great cause.

Also, I need to thank the staff at Jamestown Regional Medical Center. Every child born at the hospital gets a registration form for Imagination Library. We register kids from many counties and transfer them to their local group. The staff has also provided us with fundraising, which is much appreciated.

I also need to thank the staff at Jamestown Public Schools Central Office and the post office. The JPS Dollars for Scholars organization is the fiscal agent, so all donations go the Central Office. They also pay our bill to the national organization.


Toso is the local coordinator of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

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