United Way still $30K short of goal for 2010

Published 9:35 pm Saturday, December 5, 2009

Weeks from the conclusion of the 2010 fundraising campaign, the United Way of Selma and Dallas County still falls short of the fundraising goal.

“We need people who have seen the need in the community to make a donation,” said Jeff Cothran, executive director of the Selma and Dallas County United Way. “Right off the bat, we can’t meet all the requests of the agencies. We need people to take action in these coming weeks.”

Agencies asked the United Way for more than $450,000, even after reassessing their needs and cutting back. The fundraising goal for this year is $350,000, which is still more than the funds thus far.

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To date, the United Way has locally raised $218,000, which will end at $30,000 below goal if fundraising continues in its current trend.

“The only way it will get done is if someone will make a contribution to these services,” Cothran said. “We need people to take the initiative.”

Cothran suggests people become involved in the payroll campaigns with their workplaces, which donates one dollar or more from each paycheck to the United Way.

“It may just be a dollar from a paycheck,” Cothran said. “But, it makes a difference to these programs.”

If all employees of Vaughn Regional Medical Center participated in the program, Cothran said, the United Way would raise $1,200 a month from these people. “It all adds up if everybody does it,” Cothran said.

Cothran said many people believe funding for United Way comes from the national program, but in actuality 75 percent of the funding is brought in from local donations.

“These are the last things people can turn to for survival,” Cothran said. “If we don’t raise the money, then we can’t give the money out to the agencies.” The local office fields 10 to 20 calls per hour of people asking for help from the various agencies.

“Please do it,” Cothran said. “We need to put that money on the streets to help those who need it the most. Give now, and give a lot.”

Interested donors can mail or drop off a check, fill out a pledge card and send the donation at a later date or call and make a pledge at 874-8383. “We’ll do whatever we can for people the who want to make a gift to the United Way,” Cothran said.

Last year funding was cut from youth services to ensure that the core human services, such as meals at the Bosco Food Center, had stable funding. “It was said that folks in this town need bread not basketball,” Cothran said. “But, the board doesn’t want to cut funding to any agencies.”

Funding raised in this campaign are distributed to the local United Way agencies: American Red Cross, Cahaba Center for Mental Health, Special pre-School Program, Crippled Children and Adults Association, Tukabatchee Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Salvation Army, Bosco Food Center, SABRA Sanctuary, South Central Alabama Girl Scout Council, YMCA, Special Years Plus, Sickle Cell Disease Association, Selma AIR, Selma Area Food Bank and Doc-in-a-bus.