Our community's capacity for compassion and generosity seems boundless.
Beleaguered by economic doldrums, donors generated their own momentum and propelled the area United Way campaign beyond its goal.
"Challenging times call for big hearts," observed Debbie Snyder, 2010 campaign co-chair.
She offered her characterization Wednesday morning during a Thank You celebration, designed to express appreciation to the contributors who donated a projected $1,626,254. The amount exceeds the $1.62 million goal.
Surpassing the fundraising goal marks both the conclusion of a successful campaign and an energized commitment to the United Way effort to aid 25 area partner agencies and programs.
Although United Way perhaps is most visible during its annual fall fundraising campaign, the work of its volunteers and partner agencies continues year-round.
United Way volunteers will form fund distribution committees in January to analyze audits and financial reports of partner agencies. Those panels then advance needs-based recommendations for 2012 to the volunteer United Way Board of Directors.
Bernie Fechtel, also a campaign cochair, said the success of the campaign "shows the community believes in and trusts the United Way when it comes to determining and meeting the needs in Central Missouri."
As a result of the community's unselfish response, the health and human services delivered by the partner agencies will continue unabated.
Those services help tens of thousands of people in Cole, Moniteau, Miller, Osage and southern Callaway counties.
"That generous spirit," Snyder said, "makes "Live United' more than just a slogan. In our community, it's a way of life."
That's a splendid observation of a sensational community response.