The goal is less than last year’s, but United Way Executive Director Amy Peoples said a couple of large corporate donors planned to reduce their gifts this year, and the $93,000 is the least the United Way can raise and still provide funding to the agencies it supports at the same level as last year.
“Of course we want to go way above that,” she said. “The need in our area is even greater than that. People may not realize that our agencies run out of money every month and have to turn people away.”
In a brief breakfast meeting at Coosa Valley Medical Center, Peoples provided information to board members, who will now go out into the community to distribute pledge cards to employers. Many donors support the United Way through payroll deductions at a set rate per pay period. The “fair share” gift is an hour’s pay per month, and the umbrella organization offers a United Way discount card as an incentive for donors to give at the “fair share” level.
The discount card incentive started last year, and Peoples said United Way is working to expand the program. Businesses that have agreed to provide discounts include Geri’s Gifts, Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen, That’s Hot, The Daily Home, Stanton’s, Deal Pickles, Zaxby’s, Fort Williams Pharmacy, Natch’s Barbecue and Grill, Buttons and Bows, Carden’s Gift Cottage, Forget-Me-Not Flowers and Gift Shop, J & J Drugs and Coosa Valley Medical Center’s Hickory Street Café.
“You can save more than you contributed,” she said. “There is no cost to the business other than the discount they offer. This is a way for them to receive some recognition and to partner with us.” Peoples urges any business that wishes to participate in the discount card program but hasn’t been contacted to reach her at 256-267-0000.
United Way donations can be made by payroll deduction, cash donations, or pledges to be billed quarterly.
The funds raised go to support The ARC, Boys Club of Shylacauga, Boy Scouts of America, Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement, Children’s Emergency Fund (DHR), American Red Cross, Little League/Babe Ruth youth baseball, the Exceptional Children Program, and Alabama Childhood Food Solutions.
“I’m excited to get our campaign kicked off because it’s great to see the community coming together as one for a common good,” Peoples said.