The Franklin County Area United Way hosted a second agency tour Thursday so donors could see firsthand how their contributions improve lives.

“It was a wonderful event,” said Kim Strubberg, program coordinator. “We had 29 people in attendance and I think it was very informative and eye-opening.”

Participants included company representatives from the United Way’s Top 30 corporate donors, board members and agency representatives.

The tour began at the United Way office at 201 W. Front St. in Washington with coffee and pastries. Participants then boarded buses provided by OATS and the Transportation Council, both United Way agencies.

The first stop was Camp Washington, then Gerald Care and Rehab to see the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program in action and finally Rainbow Activity Center in Union.

In May the United Way hosted a similar tour with stops at Agape House in Pacific, Harmony Club House, a program of the Crider Center in Washington, and the Four Rivers Area YMCA, also in Washington.

“The old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words is so true,” said Strubberg. “We can tell people what these agencies are doing and what the funding means to them, but nothing brings it home like visiting one of the agencies and seeing it firsthand.”

Strubberg said it was the first time two different tour dates were offered and that schedule worked well.

“We had even more people for the second one so I think offering two dates was a good idea and it provided some flexibility,” she said.

With the tours complete, Strubberg said all attention will now be on the upcoming campaign.

The 2012 United Way drive will kick off in early September. This year’s theme is “Helping Others Helps Us All.”

The United Way provides funding to 45 agencies and programs that serve Franklin County and the surrounding area.

Through its agencies, the United Way was able to provide help to more than 70,000 individuals in the Franklin County area this past year due to the generosity of the community, Strubberg said.