Members begin a campaign this week that continues through mid-November. The donations and pledges collected assist various local agencies over the next year.
United Way supports the Arc of South Talladega County, Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement, Boy Scouts, Boy’s Club of Sylacauga, Sylacauga and Fayetteville Exceptional Children programs, Red Cross, the Children’s Emergency Fund and Childersburg and Sylacauga Babe Ruth and Little Leagues.
Chairman Walter Jacobson said the tough economy is all the more reason for people to contribute.
“As we all know, the tough economic times continue, and the pressure on families that our contributors look to continues,” Jacobson said. “But by the same token, as the troubles deepen, the needs increase so much more, so we’re going to really have to double our efforts this year to try to meet our quotas. It’s so important to have a safety net in place for our community, and we want to make sure our people have somewhere to turn when they have troubles.”
United Way, which asks all of the agencies it supports to participate in fundraising, will be targeting large and small businesses with its campaign. Donations can be made through payroll deductions, a one-time payment or a monthly bill.
Participating agencies have already turned in their allocation requests, and the funds collected are divided based on need, said executive director Amy Peoples.
The group has also added an extra benefit for individuals who choose to donate this year. Those who participate in “Fair Share,” meaning one hour’s pay a month is donated to United Way, receive a savings card for discounts at a number of local businesses. Thus far, discounts are available at Geri’s Gifts, Carden’s Gift Cottage, That’s Hot boutique, Hickory Street Café and Natch’s BBQ and Grill. More are expected to join.
Peoples said they hope the savings card encourages new donors and gives existing donors an extra push.
“People often want to know what’s in it for them when they donate,” Peoples said. “They will actually save money with the card, so it’s a wonderful incentive. A lot of times there are also internal benefits in a business for donating, and, of course, there are great tax incentives.”
Peoples said the biggest reward always comes in knowing you are helping the community.
“I can’t tell you how many calls we get on a daily basis from people who need help,” Peoples said. “Every month these organizations run out of money as quick as they get it. They turn down people every day, so the more we can assist them, the further their reach will be.”
Those interested in donating can contact United Way at 256-267-0000 or mail a donation to: P.O. Box 834, Sylacauga, AL 35150.
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