United Way Budget Could Affect Youth Book Program Funding

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COLUMBIA - United Way said it's budget shortfall is impacting several mid-Missouri organizations, including the Imagination Library.

The libraray, which is part of the National Dolly Parton Foundation, provides about 4,700 books to local children each month. It had been funded by United Way until this year.

Karen Taylor, chairperson of Imagination Library, said the organization is subsidized by Dollywood, but it still has expenses of $9,000 per month. Taylor said the organization is actively looking to find an alternative to United way that can help them with funds.

"I frequently hear from families, 'oh it's the highlight of our month when the mail comes and our child receives a book, one of the first things we do is sit down and read,' that's exciting to hear", Taylor said.

Without the assistance from United Way, the library program is in danger of being suspended.

Donations for the Imagination Library can be sent to P.O. Box 30825. Columbia, MO 65205.

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