With a theme of "Live United," the United Way of Southeast Missouri has kicked off its 2009 campaign -- not just for donations of money, but also donations of volunteer time and energy.
The fundraising goal for the campaign is more than $1.2 million, slightly ahead of the amount raised in last year's effort. Because of the recession, United Way officials realize it will be tough -- but not impossible -- to meet this year's target.
In tough economic times, the factors that affect fundraising campaigns for worthwhile community programs are the same factors that increase the need for the services offered by United Way agencies. This year, 44 agencies will receive United Way support.
Volunteers who get involved in meeting community needs are an important part of this year's United Way program. "Active participants create a stronger community," said Dale Rauh, chairman of the 2009 campaign.
Many individuals give to United Way through payroll deductions at work. Many of their employers also make significant corporate donations. But everyone can participate in the United Way effort throughout the year by directly contributing to the fundraising campaign or by offering to help as a volunteer in the United Way's strategic initiatives.