United Way seeking to raise $189K in 12 days

Sue Guinn Legg • Dec 21, 2013 at 9:07 PM

Last week, the United Way of Washington County reported total donations of $1.51 million pledged toward its $1.7 million fundraising campaign for 2013. On Friday, the agency kicked off an 11th-hour campaign initiative titled “Twelve Days of Caring” aimed at bringing the campaign to a successful conclusion in the final 12 days of the year.

With $189,000 still needed to meet the goal, United Way CEO Lester Lattany said Twelve Days of Caring is “a push and an opportunity” for businesses and churches and individuals to come together to help the United Way raise $20,000 daily through Dec. 31.

Campaign Chairman Eric Horvath emphasized fundraising for United Way’s 17 local nonprofit service agencies is not over.

“If we get all the money we are expecting from the companies that are still out there plus some others, we will have enough to meet or exceed that goal,” he said. “What it comes down to is these agencies shape the community. What is needed is for our community to rally around the agencies and help them shape the community.

“The truth of matter is what we raise is what we can allocate to the agencies. We can’t give more than what we get,” he said.

Lattany said Twelve Days of Caring places emphasis on four key focus points and seven service areas in which the United Way’s partner agencies work daily: education, income, health, child care, senior support, crisis response, healthy communities, shaping responsible adults, community partnerships, changing lives and Living United.

“This campaign is not about the United Way, or even about the agencies,” Lattany said. “It’s about children, seniors, families and individuals who are in situations (of need).

“The United Way is just an umbrella that pulls together the agencies that shape this community by touching lives in all of these areas. People forget is that these agencies touch the lives of people in ways they don’t see.”

To successfully meet the United Way’s 2013 annual funding goal for the agencies, Lattany said Twelve Days of Caring calls for 12 groups of 20 people, 20 businesses or 20 churches to come together and challenge each other to give $1,000 each or $20,000 collectively “to shape their community.”

“Sometimes people will bring it in right at the end of the year. Even last year, they got us from 84 percent at our last report meeting to more than 90 percent at the end of the year.

“The reality of it is it takes leadership at the head of businesses and faith-based organizations. The key to ending poverty in our community is intentional leadership. This campaign is not about the United Way; it’s about our community,” Lattany said.

Those who wish to help the United Way in its push to complete the 2013 campaign are encouraged to learn more about the Twelve as of Caring online at unitedwayofwashingtoncountytn.org or at the United Way of Washington County Facebook page.

Donations to the campaign may be made at the website or by mail to P.O. Box 4039, Johnson City, TN 37602-4039.

More information about the campaign and the community services its supports is also available at the website or may be obtained by calling Lattany at 282-5682.

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