A human resource director relayed an interesting story to us the other day. The director was talking about the successful push their employer made on behalf of the United Way. The pledges from the business were up from a year ago due largely to a segment of the plant that had not been targeted before. The director explained this was an area that included unskilled, lower-paid workers.
As it turned out, the lower-paid workers were donating a larger portion of their earnings to the United Way than many of the other employees.
We found that interesting, especially as we celebrate Thanksgiving today.
No one has to tell you that times have been tough. The past three to four years have seen workers across the region face wage freezes, salary cuts and increased medical costs. Itís happened across the board with government employers as well as those in the private sector.
The local unemployment rate remains in double digits in five of the nine area counties, with a high of 11.2 percent in Van Wert Count to a low of 7.1 percent in Mercer County. Allen County sits at 10.1 percent.
College students have been graduating with four-year degrees and few places willing to hire them.
Thatís why the human resource directorís story is especially inspirational. These people showed they were thankful for what they did have, and they wanted to help others.
If there ever is a time to show your thanks, it is now. Many in the region are struggling, even as there are signs the national and local economies are improving.
There are many opportunities to reach out. Choose the one you are most comfortable with. The Lima News is sponsoring the annual Empty Stocking community fund-raiser. There is the Salvation Army red kettle campaign, the United Way, Toys for Tots, programs run by local churches and others by service clubs.
Such programs help provide clothing, furniture, medical care, toys and food for those in need.
Take a look at your financial situation and see how you can help. Make a cash donation. Volunteer to help wrap presents or ring a bell. Your contributions of cash and labor would be greatly appreciated.