United Way meets its goal

Published 10:39 pm Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Health Link representative Kathi Needham gives United Way of Selma and Dallas County Executive Director Jeff Cothran a blood sugar test during its weekly health screening program. The program is one of many donations throughout the year support. -- Rick Couch photo

In the final two weeks of the year the United Way of Selma and Dallas County met, and exceeded, last year’s totals.

The total for 2009, United Way Executive Director Jeff Cothran said, was $300,000. This year’s campaign eclipsed that number by around $2,000.

“We saw a very positive trend with the increase,” Cothran said. “Our goal was to raise more than we did last year and we were able to do that. We are still hoping to get a few more gifts in.”

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Increases from employees of the state of Alabama and Hyundai gave the campaign a tremendous boost along with other local businesses like International Paper and Bush Hog who encourage payroll deduction enrollment.

“We are very blessed for the support we have been given in the community,” Cothran said.

Payroll deductions as small as $1 a week add up quickly, Cothran said, and have little impact on those who donate.

“They really never miss it,” he said. “But then when you look at it, at the end of the year that’s $52 they have given. Those add up in a hurry and make a huge difference for us.”

The United Way received more good news this week when the Doc in a bus program secured a $5,000 grant from the National Association of City and County Health Officials.

“We were really lucky to continue to get that,” Cothran said. “And we are hoping to raise even more. Our needs haven’t dropped off any.”

Though the fundraising campaign ended Dec. 31, Cothran encourages people to continue to make donations throughout the year by calling 874-8383.

“They can mail a pledge in to us, or send a check to P.O. Box 298, Selma Ala., 36701,” he said. “With one contribution the donor is providing support to our 15 agency partners.”

The board of directors insures the donations stay in Dallas County.