12/06/07 — United Way pledges $252,000 under goal

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United Way pledges $252,000 under goal

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on December 6, 2007 2:07 PM

The United Way of Wayne County will end its 2007-08 campaign more than a quarter of a million dollars below goal, the organization announced this week.

The problem is, executive director Steve Parr said, is that anticipated pledges from local businesses and individuals are coming in slowly or at levels that are considerably lower than orginally anticipated.

More than $252,271 needs to be raised to meet this year's goal of $1.4 million.

Parr said he is still hopeful that the money will come in from yet-to-report campaigns as well as generous community contributors.

"I think the thing to remember is that this is a community campaign, so it really comes down to being a community effort to impact the lives in our community," he said.

The money the United Way had budgeted for 2007-08 would have impacted more than 29,200 lives in the county. Not hitting the goal will impact the organization's reach, Parr said.

About 83 percent of the goal -- $1,207,730 -- has been raised, and that money will be enough to improve 24,155 lives.

But that leaves 5,045 Wayne County residents unserved.

Parr doesn't want to see that happen.

"If it stops there, it's going to be disastrous to the programs and services that are here improving lives every day," he said. "We are asking the community to help. There are plenty of programs, companies and individuals that haven't submitted yet."

Parr said they were counting on pledges that businesses and individuals made last year, and some of them aren't coming in.

"If we have those who helped last year pledge the same amount this year, we would have about $215,000 more," he said.

That would leave the organization only about $40,000 under budget.

Parr said every little bit counts.

"Take the time. Make that pledge so that we can make the pledge to improve peoples' lives," he said.

But if the goal isn't met by the end of the day today, Parr said the United Way will have to extend the campaign.

"If we're not there on Dec. 6, we will continue to accept contributions and pledges until the end of the year," he said.

And he is far from giving up.

"We are going to keep going, keep asking until we get to the goal," Parr said. "We are going to try to do what it takes."

The final lap of the planned campaign will conclude with a ride from Jimmie Ford at Goldsboro Chrysler Dodge Jeep today at 5:30 p.m.