The United Community Fund of Neosho Area has started its new fund-raising campaign. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the organization will not be holding its annual

Kickoff event this year. Since 1957, the organization has helped people in Newton and McDonald Counties. The Neosho United Fund is not a member of a national

organization so all funds stay in the local area. This year’s slogan is “United We Stand for Our Community” and our goal is to raise $76,000. Bill Carlsten serves as the

campaign chairman. The United Fund supports 15 non-profit agencies with allocations throughout the year. Those agencies are: Area Agency on Aging, Boy Scouts, New-Mac

CASA, CSS-Early Learning Center (formerly Cerebral Palsy Center), Children’s Haven, Children’s Mercy Hospital, 4-H Clubs, Girl Scouts, Lafayette House, Newton County

Cancer Fund, Red Cross, Salvation Army, Special Olympics, Neosho Schools Student Assistance Fund, and Neosho Freeman Family YMCA. CASA places trained volunteers with abused and neglected children in foster care in

Newton and McDonald Counties. These advocates act as the voice of the children throughout the court process. Lafayette House provides shelter, day care, and

counseling for women and their children seeking help. In 2019, Lafayette House served 260 individuals in our area. Lafayette House serves residents in Barry, Barton, Dade,

Jasper, Newton, Lawrence, and McDonald Counties. The majority of their clients (75%) live in Newton and Jasper Counties.

The Children’s Haven provides temporary shelter to children in a safe and secure environment while parents resolve a family crisis. Last year, Children’s Haven provided crisis care to 53 Neosho area children for an average stay of 11 nights of shelter at a cost of $54,802. There were diverse reasons families utilized crisis care: (25%) families who were homeless, (26%) had overwhelming parental stress, (30%) had a hospitalized

parent or sibling, (6%) had an incarcerated parent or drug related issues, (7%) had conflict with parents, (3%) had domestic violence related issues.

In 2019, Children’s Mercy served 187 McDonald County patients who had 516 visits and 522 Newton County patients who had 1,532 visits. Children’s Mercy Joplin

continues to grow and expand services based on community need, determined in partnership with Freeman Hospital System. Due to Covid-19, telemedicine services

have increased by almost 500% over this time last year across the entire Children’s Mercy network.

The United Fund needs your support to help these agencies. Individuals and businesses can make contributions to the United Fund at PO Box 412 or 212 S.

Washington Street, Neosho, MO 64850. Office hours are Tuesday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. For additional information, you may contact Kathi Stephens, administrative assistant, at 417-451-2125 or email: naucfo@gmail.com.