With the holiday season, our focus may turn to family as we pause and give thanks for the safe harbor we call home. And because those of us who live and work on the Outer Banks know that a slight shift in the winds can mean horrific destruction, we have been generous in supporting those organizations that are there when we need them.

This fall, employees at The Outer Banks Hospital dug deep in their pockets and donated $20,881 to the United Way Campaign, almost equaling last year’s record breaking $21,335. “In these times of economic uncertainty, I’m proud of our employees’ generous spirit and their commitment to our Outer Banks community,” said Van Smith, hospital president. “All of us are aware of the importance the United Way agencies can play in our lives.”

The Outer Banks Hospital employees are the largest United Way contributor group in Dare County, last year generating 80% of all United Way funds raised in the county. Brenda Spivey, Administrative Assistant at the hospital and United Way 2008 Co-Chair along with Jarie Ebert, Director of Marketing and Development, said, “I am proud to be part of a team of individuals who are invested in making a difference in our community by donating through the United Way to support local organizations and programs that might otherwise not be available.”

Last year, the United Way assisted 7,999 Dare County residents, which included assistance to the Albemarle Area Food Bank, the Red Cross, Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters, Wesley Hospitality House and The Salvation Army. “Clearly, the United Way is identifying people in need in Dare County and taking care of them,” said Smith.