The Steele County United Way reports they have reached 75-percent of their goal for the 2017 campaign, but that is still well short of the $725,000 goal. Local businesses and community members have donated $536,458 as of December 5.

Executive Director Kim Schaunfenbuel says, "United Way is able to sustain a safety net of direct services in our community, and respond to crises as well as prepare our children for the future and help seniors to age in place because of the generous support of our community."

In a news release, the Steele County United Way indicates that of those seeking services in 2016, over half needed assistance with health-related services such as senior care and meals, healthcare access, child abuse prevention services and domestic violence advocacy.

"Citizen and local business donors are heroes to the children, moms and dads, grandparents, and workers of Steele County aided through United Way program," added Schaufenbuel. Twenty-four agencies are funded through local donations. Go to their website to make a contribution, or mail a check or pledge to United Way of Steele County, Box 32, Owatonna MN  55060. Federated Insurance is the corporate chair for this year's campaign.