Local United Way brings in 88 percent of 2008 fundraising goal

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 13, 2008

The United Way of West Central Mississippi met 88 percent of its 2008 fundraising goal, the agency announced Friday.

A total of $1,347,180 was raised. The goal for this year’s campaign, which helps determine how much the United Way’s 20 member agencies will receive in 2009, was $1,525,000.

In 2007, fundraising surpassed a goal of $1,582,000 by $822.

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At a glance

Agency allocations for 2009:

American Red Cross — $51,878

Boy Scouts — $5,893

Central Mississippi Prevention Services — $28,098

Child Abuse Prevention Center — $29,806

Christian Volunteer Services — $15,668

Community Council — $81,985

Girl Scouts, Middle Mississippi — $10,040

Good Shepherd Community Center — $85,800

Grace Christian Counseling Center — $14,628

Haven House — $71,048

HIV Services Inc. — $8,461

Magnolia Speech School — $15,518

MIDD-West — $31,038

Salvation Army — $16,335

Vicksburg Family Development —  $82,763

Warren County Children’s Shelter — $40,512

Warren County Habitat for Humanity — $6,089

Warren Yazoo Mental Health — $19,624

We Care — $25,104

YMCA — $43,933

United Way Executive Director Barbara Tolliver said, though the goal was not reached, she is amazed by what was raised — in light of the tough economic times.

“We’re excited,” she said. “We stayed at around 50 percent for so long, then we started receiving gifts. We have really maintained our donor base, and we’ve seen a lot of loyal people give as much as they can. Considering everything that is going on, nationally, I really feel like we live in the most generous community in Mississippi.”

Fundraising efforts were scheduled to end Oct. 31, but the deadline was extended a month in an attempt to counteract the effects of a sour economy on the campaign.

The United Way’s member agencies will have to make budget cuts next year, Tolliver said, but they have been prepared.

“We’ve kept them abreast of what was happening and we knew in the beginning we’d probably have to adjust the budgets and tighten our belts,” said Tolliver. “We know they will do the absolute best with what they’ve been given.”

This year’s campaign was chaired by Don Jarratt, who was assisted by an 11-member cabinet and nine account managers. The goal was set in June, and the official campaign kickoff was in September.

Jarratt was “very pleased” with this year’s results, said the announcement Friday from the United Way.

“The truth is, success is not measured by the amount of money you raise, although it certainly helps,” said Tolliver. “Success is uniting people and being able to help people who are less fortunate, and I think we’re doing an excellent job of that in this community.”

The local United Way was founded in 1953.


Contact Megan Holland at mholland@vicksburgpost.com