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December 1, 2013

United Way closes in on 85 percent of goal

DUNCAN — The United Way of Stephens County’s 2013-14 campaign has reached 85 percent of its $350,000 goal.

But campaign chairwoman Haylee Root is hoping to go beyond the goal to help more people. The more money raised during the campaign, the more money there is to distribute among the 16 partner agencies to help people throughout Stephens County.

“We want people to send in their donations so we can reach goal,” Root said. “The more money we raise, the more we are able to give to our agencies. If we go above goal, that is even better to be able to give our agencies even more.”

The campaign kicked off with the United Way Follies in August. The follies event, which was not only designed to draw more attention to the partner agencies, was the first officially fundraiser for the year-long campaign.

The 2012-13 campaign was the first campaign in several years for the United Way to make goal. That goal was $325,000.

Root said this year’s goal was about following up that accomplishment with another good year. She said it’s been easier for some people to give, as the 2008 Recession has become something of the past.

With the holiday season in full swing, Root said it’s important to remember others, especially those who may be struggling just to put food on their tables, starving for interactions with others or needing additional care.

“It’s a great time to give since the year end is right around the corner,” Root said. “Their gifts are tax deductible.”

For people throughout the county, funds given to the United Way could provide a better holiday season next year. Each year, funds raised throughout the campaign are divided among the United Way agencies for the upcoming year.

Root said there are some corporate donations that haven’t come in yet. But she isn’t sure how much of an impact those donations, along with loaned executive account totals, are going to push toward reaching the goal.

“We are heavily relying on community support to push us through the last 15 percent to reach our goal,” she said.

She said this campaign has been a huge step in the right direction for the United Way of Stephens County. Root said it’s significant to be so close to making goal this early into campaign. And she attributes this success to people in the community.

“I’m so proud of our community for giving so much,” Root said.

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