We have seen and heard the numbers before, but they still are eye opening.

The United Way of Coastal Georgia kicked off its annual fundraising campaign this year and reminded us again that poverty is widespread in Southeast Georgia.

In Brunswick, 35 percent of children live in poverty. The rate is the same in McIntosh County. In unincorporated Glynn County, 28.8 percent of children live in poverty. About a quarter of children living in Glynn County go hungry.

Fighting that poverty takes a united front and a massive effort from the community.

This year, the United Way is seeking to raise $900,000 to fight poverty and the issues that come with it. The money, which is raised locally, will stay local and go to increasing access to health care and education and to aiding local families and children in need. It is a noble cause that is worth our time and effort as a community.

“United We Fight” is a fitting theme for the campaign this year. Addressing these local issues cannot be the work of only one individual or organization. Minimizing the impacts of poverty and finding ways to aid local people and families in their struggle to climb out of it requires a large group effort.

Randal Morris, public affairs manager for Georgia-Pacific and the workplace chair for the campaign this year, said it well at the kick off event last week.

“This is our call to action, and it requires all of us working together to volunteer, to advocate and to give the community solutions that target some of our most critical gaps,” he said.

He also noted that individual donors have been harder to reach in recent years. We hope that changes this year.

Regardless of how the money is raised, we look forward to seeing how the community responds.

We encourage everyone to give as individuals or through workplace campaigns to help United Way meet its goal this year.

The local donations will go solely to local organizations that have a real impact on addressing local issues.

Like Morris did at the event, we challenge local folks to spread the word and find others to support the cause.

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