This season's Steele County United Way kicked off in August during the Steele County Free Fair. This year's campaign goal is $700,000, with money going to 24 agencies. More than 700 community members were brought together as part of a strategic planning process. They identified three key areas for the campaign, which are financial stability, health and academic achievement. This year's corporate campaign leader is Gopher Sports of Owatonna.

Our guests on AM 1390's Talk of the Town were Tanya Paley and Brandon Dansie of the United Way.

Brandon highlighted a few of the groups that received support from this year's United Way campaign. One is the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, from which each enrolled Steele County child receives a free book each month up to their fifth birthday. Another is the Job Readiness Career Counselor, which partners high school seniors with area businesses, enabling the senior to be more job-ready. One of the new programs is the Incentive to Save. This program encourages community members that are more than 200 percent below the poverty level to open up a savings account. Once they have saved $500 and taken several financial classes, they receive a $50 deposit. These are just three of the 24 groups receiving support from the Steele County United Way's current campaign.