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Donate a dollar at local grocery stores to help United Way program

A dollar may not seem like much. But pooling together those dollars from everyone throughout the community for a month can make a big difference in the lives of other people.

That's the goal of a new March campaign launched by the United Way of Pope and Douglas Counties.

It's called "Change a Lot."

United Way is teaming up with Tom's Food Pride, Marthaler Chevrolet, Elden's Fresh Foods, and Pete's County Market

The businesses are asking people to donate a dollar to the United Way as they're buying their groceries at the checkout counter. "One dollar can make a difference in the lives of your family, friends and neighbors," noted agency leaders.

What can a dollar do?

Donations will support 25 agencies and 45 programs that are working every day to help people in Douglas and Pope counties.

United Way listed some examples of the power of local donations:

• In the past five years, donations have put a book a month in the hands of children. A total of 3,156 children in Douglas and Pope counties have received a total of 51,708 books.

• Over the last four years, 9,705 bags of nutritious child friendly food were given out to children in local schools. These bags have gone to children who oftentimes leave school on Friday, and don't eat until they return to school on Monday.

• During the last three years, monthly mobile food drops have served 22,437 individuals with the most basic of needs. A total of 719,888 pounds of food have been given to families who are dealing with hunger issues.

• This past summer, United Way brought learning experiences to local residents' back doors with the Traveling Tree House. These mobile vehicles have traveled throughout Pope and Douglas counties, delivering the magic of learning to children.

"Think of what your change at the checkout can do when combined with your neighbors'," said United Way leaders. "A little from each of us can change a lot."

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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