United Way of Greater Augusta Kicks Off Fundraising Campaign
The United Way of Greater Augusta is going where it's never gone before. The nonprofit launched a fundraising campaign with a goal of $800,000 - the highest in its 10-year history.
This past year, the United Way of Greater Augusta collected more than its fundraising goal of $700,000. It put 84 percent of that money directly back into services that run the spectrum from free dental care, to the prevention of elder abuse.
Balloons tout 125 years of United Way worldwide, with a long tradition of giving. For the Greater Augusta chapter, continuing that means showing what their dollars do.
United Way of Greater Augusta Director Cynthia Pritchard said, "We choose to educate the community about what's going on, what the needs are in the community, as well as what kind of funding we need to move it forward."
United Way programs and agencies touch lives from beginning to end, with early childhood education to Meals on Wheels for seniors. This past year, for example, $25,000 went to Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), whose volunteers help abused or neglected children through the courts.
CASA Director Michael Nay said, "Sometimes professionals change, and they're coming in and out of that child's life. That child has one voice, one person that's committed to staying on the case."
Employers small and large aim to share stories like those as they appeal to workers. Augusta County has more than 500 employees, many of whom don't realize the United Way's role in their lives.
"We have a lot of young folks with small children who are all participants in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library," said Augusta County Campaign Leader Dennis Burnett. "Just in trying to promote that program throughout the county, we found that many of them are already participating, and maybe not necessarily aware that that was a United Way program."
"We cover the gamut. What we do is look at the most and biggest needs are in our community, and we focus funding in those areas," Pritchard said.
The United Way of Greater Augusta also marshals volunteer efforts. Its Stuff the Bus campaign just collected $33,000 worth of school supplies, and dozens of workers will help in the Day of Caring on September 11.
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