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An important, potentially Region-transforming nonprofit organization rapidly is growing the number of working poor residents it serves.

Anyone seeing value in helping fellow Northwest Indiana citizens rise further from the precipice of poverty should consider helping in this mission.

Last year, we told you how Lake Area United Way was refocusing the way it distributes its nonprofit funding, with a new laser focus on aiding the Region's working poor.

United Way agencies in Porter and LaPorte counties also have worthy missions and methods for aiding their communities.

In Lake County, all residents should get behind helping those who work hard to support their families but struggle to rise from the depths of their situations.

Lake Area United Way appears to be attacking this goal in a very pronounced way. The organization, which used to be known for divvying up its funding to a plethora of other nonprofits, reportedly grew the number of actual people it serves from just under 80,000 last year to 100,000 this year.

Fundraising in its previous campaign also was a big success, thanks in part to generous Region folks.

In its last fundraising campaign, Lake Area United Way brought in $400,000 in private donations, which were matched by another $400,000 from the Indiana Association of United Ways, Lake Area Director Lisa Daugherty said.

That money has filtered down to working poor, including many hardworking parents and their children, in finding footholds for betterment.

While Lake Area United Way celebrates its successful previous campaign, those matching dollars aren't expected in the coming year.

The organization seeks, and we encourage you to answer in kind if at all possible, more generosity from a Region clearly in need of help for its working poor.

The household survival budget for Lake County, an amount that allows for no savings, is $53,981 for two parents with an infant and toddler and $18,138 for a single adult, according to a United Way report on Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed, or ALICE, households.

One in four Lake County households fall into that category. That doesn't include the 16 percent who earn less than the federal poverty level.

Lake Area United Way is in the beginning stages of its latest fundraising campaign, so now is the perfect time to augment the agency's ongoing success.

To donate to the Lake Area United Way's campaign to help working families who struggle to get by, visit lauw.org or call 219-923-2302.

For information on donating to the Porter County United Way, call 219-464-3583. To contribute to United Way of LaPorte County, call 219-210-3534.

Government isn't always the best solution to our most pressing local needs. Worthy, problem-solving charities can be effective agents in filling the gap.


Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Editorial Page Editor Marc Chase, Editor Bob Heisse, Politics/History Editor Doug Ross and Managing Editor Erin Orr.