11/12/07 — United Way needs help to make 2007 goal

View Archive

United Way needs help to make 2007 goal

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on November 12, 2007 1:45 PM

United Way of Wayne County officials are asking residents to dig deep to help the organization reach its goal of improving 29,200 lives throughout the county next year.

The organization is falling short of the goal of raising $1.46 million by Dec. 6 -- the end of the campaign.

With a little more than four weeks left in the 2007 campaign, dollars aren't adding up as volunteers had hoped.

"The funds are just not coming in fast enough for us to be confident that we are going to meet our goals," 2007 campaign chairman Jimmie Ford said.

So far, $974,981 has been raised, and 19,500 lives will be impacted because of those funds, but that is only 67 percent of the goal.

United Way of Wayne County Executive Director Steve Parr said that even though this year's campaign is a little ahead of where the campaign was last year, he believes it will still fall short -- $50,000 short.

Which, in turn, leaves 1,000 people without the help provided by United Way partner agencies, which include such organizations as Meals on Wheels and the Boys and Girls Club.

Ford said the challenge the campaign faces has a lot to do with some major employers not being unable to participate this year.

"When you lose major supporters, it is very difficult to make up. So we need businesses and individuals to rise to the challenge and invest in the campaign," he said.

Don't think that someone else will do it, he added -- people and businesses need to be pro-active.

Parr agreed, but the campaign isn't over yet, he said.

"If small businesses jump in and help out, we could raise the money we need," he said. "It's not too late. If we obtain 50 new donors at $1,000 each or 100 new investors at $500 each, the shortfall can be overcome."

The campaign ends Dec. 6.

"We are all in this together," Ford said. "This money helps people in our community."

And the money raised will go to programs that help people in Wayne County -- among them Wayne Opportunity Center, mental health programs, American Red Cross, WAGES, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and the Salvation Army.

"We need to help each other out," Ford said. "I do believe if citizens bring this home, we can accomplish what we are trying to do here."

"We all need to rally around this last stretch," Parr added.