The 57th annual United Way of Union County campaign kicked off Aug. 26, seeking to raise $1 million for the second straight year.
The community-wide fall fundraiser achieved record-level giving of $960,000 last year, a 4 percent increase from 2012. It will take another 4 percent increase for United Way to achieve the milestone mark.
“This is a very aggressive goal and we know that,” said Mike Rose, controller at Union Rural Electric, who is serving as the campaign chair this year. “But the needs of Union County continue to grow. Every year when we meet to determine funding to our agencies, we go in knowing that we cannot meet every request. It is very tough to look those people in the eye and tell them we don’t have enough to go around. Those of us involved with United Way would love to have a time where we could meet every request for every agency.”
Officials stress that the $1 million goal is not just a nice, round number for the organization, but represents a cross between true community needs and perceived fundraising capacity. United Way’s Partner Agencies are requesting a 13 percent increase in funding this year.
United Way of Union County serves all of the 43064 zip code — including the portion on the Madison County side. As such, there are several Funded Partners specific to Plain City, including the Plain City Food Pantry, Plain City Free Clinic, Pleasant Valley Seniors, and the Memorial Hospital Meals Site serving out of Bickham Center.
Money given to United Way stays in Union County to support its mission to bring neighbors and resources together to improve lives. A single gift supports six pantries, four senior centers, two shelters, an after-school youth center, a homeless prevention program, disaster relief, prescription medication, hospice care, cancer support, youth activities, and more.
Donors may choose to designate their gift to a specific Impact Area or a program. In that case, dollars are earmarked specifically for those programs.
Giving via payroll deduction at work has been a Union County tradition since 1958. Businesses that have already committed to offer payroll deduction to employees for United Way include Huntington, Jerome Township, John Deere Training Center, Jonathan Alder Schools, Kroger, Liberty National Bank, Loving Care Hospice, Mental Health & Recovery Board, PNC, Richwood Banking Company, Select Sires, Tolles Career & Technical Center and Walmart. Those interested in establishing a United Way campaign in a workplace not listed are encouraged to call United Way at 937-644-8381.
Additional giving opportunities abound. Giving fliers will be mailed to every address in Union County next week. Donors could write a check and mail it to P.O. Box 145, Marysville, OH 43040. Easy online giving is available at www.unitedwayofunioncounty.org.
United Way of Union County has raised more than $18 million for local needs since it was established in 1958.
For more information, please visit www.unitedwayofunioncounty.org.