To the editor: The need for the services that United Way of Clinton & Essex Counties, Inc. helps support has never been greater. Employment, construction and tourism are down yet gas, food and utility costs are rising. Demands on public agencies, food pantries, utility funds, and free clinics are much higher than last year and from people who have neer requested assistance before. State funding to public and private agencies has been slashed, at the same time that requests for assistane are increasing. United Way of Clinton & Essex Counties, Inc. helps fill that gap. United Way has been a part of this community for over 50 years. Their main role is providing financial support to local health and human service programs to 33 partner agencies. They do not just provid a blank check to these agencies; they fund specific programs with measurable outcome objectives ensuring the funds invested on your behalf are making the greatest impact on community needs. I realize that many are facing financial pressures in their own families. But, I hope people would give as generously as they can. Im sure they know someone who has been helped by one of the Untied Way partner agencies, a neighbor, co-worker, student, and quite likely their own family. United Way needs your help this year. If you work for one of the 135 businesses that allow you to donate through payroll deduction, that is the easiest way. If your employer doesnt offer a workplace campaign, please ask if they will start one. If youve received a letter from the United Way, please reply. Even a small amount can make a big difference in the lives of others in need in our community. Please support the United Way! Thank you. Kathy Snow, Administrative Coordinator, United Way of Clinton & Essex Counties, Inc.