The mid-November scramble to round up gifts and pledges to the United Way of Norman campaign seems to have been going on for several weeks now.

Top campaign volunteers and past chairs met last week to map out a strategy to help the annual drive make its $1.9 million goal. It fell a bit short last year and this year's campaign chair Kim Jackson was mostly optimistic until hurricanes devastated the Gulf Coast, sending donated dollars to relief agencies and bringing storm victims to our community needing services.

Storm relief and local social service agencies are certainly both worthy causes and no one would deny a donor's right to choose between them. But the reality is local agencies that reached out to hurricane survivors will feel the pinch next year if the amount allocated falls short as it appeared last week.

Some campaigns keep their drives open as long as it takes to make the goal. That's not an option here as agencies have their own donor drives planned, holidays are approaching and donors are ready for a break.

A handful of significant donors that believe in this community will be asked to join the drive's final push this week. It'll take a heroic effort but it's not unreachable.

We've seen Norman rally to the cause before. Forms to donate have been printed in recent newspapers. If you haven't been contacted and feel moved to help, it might be time to reach out yourself and call the United Way at 329-2025 or drop a check in the mail to 550 24th Avenue NW, Suite D, Norman, 73072.

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