United Way nears lofty goal

Published 6:08 pm Saturday, December 29, 2012

This year the United Way of Selma-Dallas County will have less funds to allocate to their agencies, but according to Jeff Cothran, executive director for the United Way of Selma-Dallas County, the board is very pleased with the outcome of their campaign — a campaign that is coming to an end Dec. 31.

“We are currently at around $323,000 [for the year],” Cothran said, which is a little bit less than what was raised in 2011, but Cothran noted that the drop didn’t come as a surprise.

“Typically election years are very, very tough years for campaigns. Election years put people in a bad mood. The political parties are going so hard to tell everybody in the country how bad things are and how good it will be under their administration that people tend to get kind of bummed out,” Cothran said.

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He also attributed the drop in funds to a special circumstance.

“I’ll tell you what happened last year,” Cothran said. “We had a lady leave us in her will, and it was a fairly significant amount. So that put us in the hole to begin with. But if you took that out of the equation, we raised more than we did last year. That’s why allocations slipped some, because of that large donation that we just didn’t receive this year.”

Cothran said while they weren’t able to make up those funds within the campaign, he is very pleased with the campaign results.

“Frankly, given the economic conditions in Selma, we’re very, very pleased to be able to allocate where we are,” he said.

Cothran said the United Way of Selma-Dallas County allocates to 13 agencies — each in Dallas County.

“That’s the covenant we have with the community. You give here, it stays here,” he said. “All money stays here in Dallas County to help the people in Dallas County. We don’t [financially] support any national causes or groups.”

The campaign ends Dec. 31 and Cothran encourages everyone to give.

“We take pledges year-round, so we’ll actually begin next year’s campaign on Jan. 2,” he said. “We’ll just get started right away. We have the official campaign that we start in the fall, but we’re working year round.”

Cothran said people who want to give a gift can go to SelmaUnitedWay.org.

“It’s got all our agencies on there, along with a campaign video and a Donate Now button,” he said.

Cothran added a big thanks to all the supporters who have already given and to those who have volunteered their time in the community.

“We just want to thank everybody that’s participated in the campaign. All the companies that have supported us throughout the year and throughout the fall campaign, we want to thank everybody who gave a gift to the United Way and who had volunteered at an agency,” Cothran said. “And we want to thank people who have given to other charities, just people who are out there supporting the community through their volunteerism and through their donations — it’s what makes our community, the community it is. That altruistic spirit that people show every day of the week in Dallas County.”