United Way 'hopeful and optimistic' but struggling to meet campaign goal

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The United Way of Southeast Missouri is anticipating a decline in contributions from area employees as it struggles to meet its $1.19 million campaign goal.

Workplace campaigns are expected to decrease as much as $125,000 this year, said Executive Director Nancy Jernigan.

Currently, pledges have come in totaling 70 percent of the organization's 2010 campaign goal.

"We are still hopeful and optimistic," said Jernigan. "Our community is in great need, and we must work our hardest to serve those who need our help."

Several agencies supported by the United Way are breaking records with the number of people reaching out for assistance for the first time this year.

While the struggling economy creates more need, it also leaves others with less to give, Jernigan said. Among the United Way's top 20 companies, which typically yield 75 percent of the dollars raised during the campaign, some businesses are reporting an increase, while others are experiencing a decline in giving.

The following totals have been contributed by local companies toward the campaign goal to date:

Southeast Health,$70,286;

Southeast Missouri State University, $27,162;

Ameren Missouri, $26,685;

Southeast Missourian, $25,314;

KFVS TV 12/The Heartland CW, $24,610;

Schnucks, $23,322;

Cape Public Schools, $23,454;

City of Cape Girardeau, $23,051;

Jackson R-2 Schools, $22,888;

Saint Francis Medical Center, $18,095;

The Bank of Missouri, $17,532;

Region's Bank, $14,588;

Montgomery Bank, $11,973;

US Bank, $11,822; and

BioKyowa, $10,429.

Several companies still have United Way campaigns in process and have reported preliminary numbers.

Procter & Gamble anticipates reaching its goal of $255,000, holding its position as the top contributor to United Way of Southeast Missouri.

Jackson students raised more than $11,000 through fundraisers. The Cape Girardeau School District increased its campaign by 15 percent compared to last year. The Bank of Missouri and Regions Bank had significant increases in employee campaigns as well. The Bank of Missouri reported about a 20 percent increase and Region's Bank nearly 40 percent over last year. KFVS12 and BioKyowa's contributions are up 10 percent from last year.

The United Way will launch a private gift initiative in January in hopes of reaching donors who aren't in the workplace, Jernigan said.

mmiller@semissourian.com

388-3646

Pertinent address:

430 A Broadway, Cape Girardeau, MO

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