10/30/05 — United Way still pushing to meet goal

View Archive

United Way still pushing to meet goal

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on October 30, 2005 2:04 AM

Unlike any other United Way branch in the state, or even the nation, United Way of Wayne County has two goals it would like to accomplish in the upcoming year. Aside from its monetary goal, Executive Director Steve Parr said the organization is determined to impact the lives of 28,500 people throughout the county.

To reach that goal, United Way is asking the community to do its part in raising $1.4 million. The money would provide the resources necessary to help those in need through 25 programs, which are a part of 13 local agencies in the community, Parr said.

Currently in Wayne County, there are 500 homeless people and one in every four homes experiences domestic violence, according to the United Way. Through contributions and volunteer work, Parr said local residents can help their neighbors change their lives, promote independence and give them hope.

"This is all about the community. I'm tired of hearing that the United Way did or didn't make their goal. This is all on the community," Parr said. "If we make our goal, the community should pat themselves on the back. If not, they have to look at themselves because we didn't come together."

Since members of the Wayne County community are the ones making the contributions, each monetary gift is given directly back to people in the county, Parr said. Currently, United Way of Wayne County is 60 percent of the way to helping 28,500 residents and raising $1.4 million.

However, it has been more difficult for the organization to raise funds in the county due to the natural disasters that have occurred throughout the nation, Parr said. In spite of these setbacks, Parr stressed it is important for residents to make "an absolute impact back to the community."

If the organization does not meet its goal, there could be consequences for the less fortunate residents throughout the county, Parr said. This could include one less meal provided for the elderly or a homeless person not receiving the resources to become a contributing member of society.

The programs supported by the United Way are in place to help the elderly, homeless and many more. The 25 programs are broken down into subdivisions of enriching the lives of children and youth, strengthening families and individuals, promoting health and wellness and fostering self-sufficiency.

Since the children are the future of Wayne County, North Carolina and the nation, Parr said it is important for them to learn the skills to become more educated. Programs such as Great Leaps and Advanced Classroom Management teach children to develop and enhance reading skills and instruct teachers about positive classroom strategies to enhance the educational process.

To combat domestic violence, the United Way supports The Lighthouse of Wayne County, which offers shelter and assistance to abuse victims. Parr said 75 percent of the people in The Lighthouse get financial independence from their abuser.

However, these advances would not be possible without the generosity of local residents. For the time being, Community Investment Director Suzie Acree said the organization will "stretch every dollar to help as many people as possible."

For those interested in making a monetary donation, United Way of Wayne County can be reached at 735-3591 or a check can be sent to P.O. Box 73, Goldsboro, NC 27533.