12/12/04 — United Way seeks to make goal before end of year

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United Way seeks to make goal before end of year

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on December 12, 2004 2:05 AM

With three weeks to go, United Way of Wayne County has reached 95 percent of its fund-raising goal of $1,332,000.

A total of $1,270,100 has been raised as of Friday, said Steve Parr, director. He said this amount will help improve the lives of 25,402 people in Wayne County.

Donnie Barnes, campaign chairman, said he feels the campaign will not only reach its goal, but go over.

"We have companies that give us corporate donations that don't come in until December because they wait until the end of the year to do it," he said. "And we have lots of individuals who give us money who never turn it in until the last of December."

Barnes said United Way was hoping to finish the campaign by Thanksgiving. "We were hoping that giving away a new truck Nov. 20 to those who gave their fair share would get people to turn in their stuff earlier."

And the truck had that effect, said Barnes. It caused a lot of companies to do their campaigns earlier.

Barnes thinks the truck giveaway also helped United Way raise more. Last year at this time, United Way had made only 50 percent of its goal, raising $650,000. By the end of the year, it had raised $1,301,000. Barnes said the rest of that money came in within the last few weeks of December.

Donations received after Dec. 31 will not be counted toward this year's campaign, said Barnes.

He said the reason for that is twofold: "One is you have to cut it off at a certain point. Secondly, by the first week of January, the allocations committee has to know how much money it has to allocate to the agencies."

Barnes said the obstacles are the same that United Way has been seeing year after year. The biggest difficulty is more companies are owned by interests that are not located in Goldsboro and are reducing their corporate gifts.

"If we make $1,332,000, that will be the most money that United Way's ever raised locally," he said. "But I think we're going to go well past that number."