United Way Goes Over the Top
After several years of falling short, United Way of Moore County has reached its goal.
The target was $625,000 and the local chapter exceeded it by $1,705.94.
"This will allow us to do what we do," Executive Director Linda Pearson said, "which is supplement those agencies approved for funding. We're in that process now."
Tom Velevis, chairman of the local United Way board, said he hopes that making the goal will generate some positive momentum.
"I believe this is the first time in three or four years that we've got over our goal," he said. "We couldn't be more excited."
The United Way was at 94 percent of its goal when it held its Cornerstone Award ceremony Jan. 18. The Cornerstone Award banquet usually symbolizes the end of fundraising for the year. But this year, "money was still coming in from different businesses," Pearson said.
For example, Progress Energy's campaign is run through the Triangle United Way. The Moore County United Way didn't know what its share would be until recently.
Pearson said one thing that helped the United Way meet its goal was that there were no huge disasters this year to divert funding. In past years, Hurricane Katrina, the tsunami in Asia and other disasters have made people want to give to those causes.
"This is a community that gives," Pearson said. "Lord knows, they give all the time."
Twenty-one agencies have applied for funding from the United Way this year.
The United Way is in the process of what it calls a "community assessment," which is a survey that asks community leaders, churches and municipalities if they think the United Way is allocating its money properly.
"We're asking what they perceive to be the issues Moore County faces as a community," Pearson said. "And where we need to be concentrating our efforts."
Pearson said that many people worked hard to help the United Way reach its goal. Kim Gilley was the campaign chair.
"She deserves a lot of credit in leading the charge," Velevis said. "She certainly gets a gold star."
He said that the community should be commended and thanked for meeting the challenge. Pearson noted that raising this much money is a long process.
"When you are trying to raise it," Pearson said. "From the first dollar to the last, it seems like forever."
Pearson said she doesn't know what the goal will be next year. In fact, she said that the system may be different next year.
"The goal is a challenge to the community to meet its own needs," Pearson said. "You may see things a little differently next year."
Matthew Moriarty may be reached at 693-2479 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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