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United Way on track to exceed goals

As the Selma-Dallas County United Way heads into the final month of its 2011 fundraising campaign, executive director Jeff Cothran said he is very optimistic about meeting and exceeding goals.

“We are right now looking to raise a little bit more money than we did last year,” Cothran said. “We are currently at $286,508, which this time last year, we were at around the same level and raised a little more than $311,000.”

If giving trends continue, Cothran said they should be able to top last year’s $311,000, which would be huge for the agencies supported by the United Way.

“If we hit these targets we are hoping to increase allocations to agencies by about 4 percent,” Cothran said. “A lot of that is because of our direct service programs because we have collected better on last year’s pledges.”

A depressed economy has hit the United Way’s fundraising efforts in some areas. But, Cothran said, other donors have more than made up for any lapses.

“It’s been kind of an odd thing with the economy,” he said. “Overall pledges are down considerably from what they were in previous years, but we are collecting a greater percent. Because of that, we have a cash rollover from last year so we are going to be able to allocate out more money. We’re really happy about that prospect.”

The fundraising campaign ends Dec. 31, Cothran said. But, he said payroll deductions continue throughout the year.

In addition to increased donations, Cothran said some programs were also able to secure grants to enhance services. The Doc in a Bus, Healthlink and diabetic monitoring programs all received funding, which puts these programs in good shape for the coming year.

“It’s looks like we are going into 2012 being able to keep our direct service programs going,” he said.

Donations will be taken throughout the remainder of 2011 through the United Way’s Selma office and online at www.selmaunitedway.org. For more information on donations and services, call 874-8383.

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