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Once again, our community saw the need for the United Way and its 28 partner agencies and stepped up to the plate.

The umbrella agency's annual fundraising campaign raised a projected $2.22 million, outpacing its $2.1 million goal.

But Mid-Missouri's generosity went well beyond that, as we reported Friday. The community donated an additional $367,203 to the United Way's Disaster Recovery Fund, set up a day after the May 22 tornado that caused millions of dollars in damage to our homes and businesses.

The results of the successful campaign were announced during the organization's annual campaign victory celebration Thursday morning at Missouri Farm Bureau in Jefferson City. The event was attended by local and state business and government leaders.

The tornado, combined with the damage from severe flooding this year, created a one-two natural disaster punch that upturned many people's lives and businesses in Jefferson City.

Data shows the twin disasters affected about 600 families in Central Missouri, area United Way President Ann Bax said. She said about 50 percent of those affected will need further assistance.

"Every single one of you in this room — you're hearing these stories — and you immediately jump into action. And you're taking care of the people in our community," said Missy Dunn, 2019 campaign co-chair. "That's what life is about. That's why I see rainbows and unicorns."

Rest assured, the money you have donated to the United Way will make a difference in your community, in the lives of your neighbors, and perhaps in the lives of your own family. It won't rebuild our city — that will come with time — but it will at least provide the impetus to start rebuilding lives.

News Tribune

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