As a recent addition to the United Neighbors, Inc. board of directors, I am thrilled to serve as a volunteer and representative.

We are aware of fund mismanagement accusations, lawsuits and finger-pointing. You have heard funding has been removed and it looks like we need to close. However, to my knowledge, no articles have stated the good that United Neighbors, Inc., has done and continues to do, given the severe lack of funding.

To close this agency would be an injustice to the community when our community needs these types of agencies more than ever. When state and federal funding has slowed or stopped, we need to support agencies like United Neighbors. We must share community resources and act as liaisons for disadvantaged residents and not stand alone from one another.

It would be a shame to see Dr. Ida Johnson’s dream, one of the founders of United Neighbors, who worked hard for over 44 years to create a brighter future for our disadvantage youths, to end now. United Neighbors continues to provide services to those in need.

Thank you to new Executive Director Evelyn Nelson, a front-runner in keeping United Neighbors in Davenport. She deserves a thank you for putting community needs first and for staying the course. I thank the board of directors for remaining with United Neighbors, Inc.

Without the community donating time and money, and organizations and the business community offering support, this dream will die. In the coming weeks, we will ask for assistance. We have a real need; don’t let this valuable agency close. We need your help.

Penni Chase

Orion, Illinois

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