Local United Way slates drive-thru rally to launch annual campaign

·2 min read

Sep. 18—United Way of Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas will kick off its 2021-22 campaign next week with events in Joplin and Pittsburg, Kansas.

A campaign kickoff and drive-thru agency rally will take place 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Robert W. Plaster Sports Complex parking lot at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin. A similar kickoff and rally is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday in Pittsburg at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts parking lot at Pittsburg State University.

The public may attend either rally, a first for the local United Way.

"This is an opportunity to bring the community together in support of all of the partner agencies that we work with to solve our community's most critical problems," said Duane Dreiling, executive director, in a statement. "We invite the public to drive through to cheer, applaud, honk, say thanks and show appreciation for the amazing work our partner agencies have done during the pandemic and the vital services they continue to provide to our communities."

United Way partners with dozens of area agencies each year, including Joplin NALA Read, Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri, Joplin Family Y, Legal Aid of Western Missouri, Pittsburg YMCA and Catholic Charities of Southeast Kansas.

The campaign theme this year is "Driving Change 365." Dreiling said it symbolizes how United Way affects its communities all year long.

"Even after the pandemic, people in our communities continue to face many unique challenges year-round," he said. "But that is exactly what United Way was built for: rallying the community around a shared purpose of taking care of our families, friends and neighbors."

Residents who attend the rally will have the opportunity to view United Way's campaign video, visit with staff and learn how to get involved in the campaign.

For more information, call 417-624-0153 or 620-231-8140, or go to unitedwaymokan.org.

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