08/01/05 — United Way gets ready for '05 campaign

View Archive

United Way gets ready for '05 campaign

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on August 1, 2005 1:48 PM

The 2005 United Way campaign that gets under way this month in Wayne County is not strictly about raising money, says its chairman. It's about helping people.

When people understand where their contributions go, said Jane Rustin, they are more likely to give.

United Way officials are hoping to raise $1,425,000 this year. Last year, the Wayne County campaign raised $1,371,028, nearly $40,000 more than its goal.

"The key is that people will help if they understand what we're doing," said Ms. Rustin. "It's not raising money for United Way; it's raising money to help people here. It's your neighbor, your friend who might need assistance. The campaign gives us the ability to have the programs in place to be able to do that."

During the campaign, which officially starts Aug. 30 with the Taste of Wayne County, volunteers will be emphasizing fair-share giving. United Way considers one hour's pay per month as a giver's fair share.

To boost fair-share giving, Chevrolet-Cadillac of Goldsboro is again donating a vehicle to be given away. Anyone who gives their fair share during the campaign will be eligible to win. Last year, a new truck was given away. This year, the lucky winner will get a new PT Cruiser.

"It's not really about a drawing," says Ms. Rustin. "It's about getting people to thinking that they can afford to give their fair share. It gets people to thinking what their fair share really is and why they should do it."

Accountability is a big reason the Wayne campaign has done so well over the years, said Ms. Rustin. Agencies and programs that receive money from United Way have to prove each year that they are using the money wisely and effectively.

"United Way of Wayne County has been doing this for years," she said. "If you take people's money, you'd better be accountable for it. People deserve to know that their donations are well spent."

The campaign will emphasize leadership giving, said Ms. Rustin.

"A lot of people could step up and be a leadership giver, which is giving $500 or more," she said. "I think we need to encourage people to step up a little more. Some people have given generously over the years, but maybe haven't really thought of stepping up to that level."

A Frontrunners Campaign is expected to set the tone for the rest of the fund-raising effort.

"Frontrunners are tried and true companies that don't need a kickoff," said Ms. Rustin. "A Frontrunner builds momentum for the rest of the campaign."

Ms. Rustin says United Way is emphasizing leadership giving a lot more this year.

United Way also has a new brochure this year that Ms. Rustin feels will inspire people to give. It also will have a new campaign video featuring local talent -- D.J. Coles and the Tommy's Road Elementary School chorus.

Ms. Rustin said she is determined to wrap up the campaign by the end of November. There will be a recognition luncheon Dec. 16.

Ms. Rustin says she has worked with a number of United Way groups in different places but that Wayne's organization is one of the strongest she has encountered, mostly because of the involvement of so many people in the community.

"They make United Way strong here," she said. "And this United Way is local. The board is local. The decisions are local. Policies are local. It's a local grassroots effort."

A native of Long Island, N.Y., Ms. Rustin is director of the county Public Library.

Other members of the 2005 campaign cabinet includes Geoff Hulse, vice chairman; Hal Tanner III and Donnie Barnes, cultivation division; Julie Daniels, business division; Jimmie Ford, industrial division; Michelle Kiefer, professional division; Bill Paugh, health care division; Goldsboro Mayor Al King, public service division; Bill Brewer, leaders-in-giving division; and Ellen Bland, direct mail division.