By DEB WUETHRICH
The United Way recently put out a call for help in completing its goals for this year’s United Way fundraising campaign, noting that funds were $150,000 short of the $900,000 goal for the 2010/2011 campaign. One way in which a shortage can affect the local community is that a percentage of dollars that typically come back through community investment would also be cut back.
“The good news is that we’ve had an overwhelming response since that word of our shortage was put out there,” said Amy Palmer, Executive Director of Lenawee United Way. She added that some people have responded by mailing in a requested $52 each ($1 per week), and hopes the charitable giving continues to take them on to their goal. Last year the Lenawee United Way raised $834,000.
Palmer said that in addition to 15 regular county-wide programs, such as the Lenawee Affordable Housing Coalition (LEAHC), and Catholic Charities and Family Counseling, and others each year, Lenawee United Way funds different programs in each community.
“Last year, Communities in Schools of the Tecumseh Area received $5,000, and the Tecumseh Service Club received $13,000,” Palmer said. “If we don’t meet our goals and raise the funds, we’d be looking at a 20 percent cut in each of our 15 regular programs, and the local community investment would be less as well.”
Many of the countywide programs are part of partnerships that Lenawee United Way engages in, such as providing counseling vouchers through Catholic Charities and Family Counseling.
“We see a lot of people who may need mental health counseling because they have a mental health situation,” Palmer said. Lenawee United Way also supports basic needs by providing funding for clothing and household items through such groups as Associated Charitites, safety of children staying in the Catherine Cobb Domestic Violence Shelter, homeless prevention, and more.