Nonprofit Spotlight: United Way touches many lives

Farm Forum

Heath Johnson is the 2013 United Way campaign co-chair.

Welcome to the 2013 United Way Campaign! My name is Heath Johnson and I and my wife, Stacy, are this year’s campaign co-chairs.

When my wife and I returned to my hometown of Aberdeen more than five years ago to settle down and raise our family, we decided that we would make a concerted effort to become very involved in our chosen community. We wanted to give our time, talents and treasure to causes and organizations we felt strongly about. The United Way of Northeastern South Dakota is one of those organizations.

Even before becoming involved in the United Way, we had witnessed firsthand the benefits that it brings to our region. We see the wonderful care given to the children within the YMCA Youth Development Center, where both of our boys — and soon our daughter — have had opportunities for growth and learning in a safe and stimulating environment.

As a family law attorney, Stacy sees how Safe Harbor’s Crisis Intervention is there to help her clients and all the families affected by domestic violence, giving them a place to turn when there is nowhere else to go. She also has extensive dealings with Safe Harbor’s Kids Konnection, which allows for a safe and controlled location for child exchanges and monitored visitation to occur due to the unfortunate reality of divorce and child custody battles.

These are just a few examples of the wonderful work being done on a daily basis in our communities by the United Way of Northeastern South Dakota and its partner agencies. Each and every one of you, or someone you are close to, has likely had direct contact or experience with one of our many partner agencies without even knowing it, as collectively they serve one out of every three people in our region.

The United Way helps provide funding for 45 programs through 19 partner agencies that serve Brown, Day, Edmunds, Marshall, McPherson and Spink counties. This is truly a regional effort, and we cannot do it without the continued support of all our surrounding communities.

Many of you work at one of the wonderful local businesses that take part in our annual campaign. Others donate directly to the United Way of Northeastern South Dakota, where 99 cents of every $1 donated stays right here within our region to help your family, friends and neighbors. All of you are making an important and meaningful difference in the lives of others.

Please join Stacy and me in supporting a great organization with a worthy mission. You can visit our website for more information at or you can contact the United Way of Northeastern South Dakota at 605-225-0212.

When everyone gives a little, a lot can be done. Join us as we work together to change lives. Live United.