United Way needs $5,000

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Campaign extended

AMHERST – United Way of Cumberland County is extending its 2012 campaign a couple of weeks into the new year in an effort to close the gap on a $5,000 anticipated shortfall.

“We’re still short of our goal,” said Cathy Skinner, executive director and sole (part-time, seasonal) employee of the charity.

The charity hoped to raise $150,000 with its fall campaign. The coffers currently sit at about $134,000, but is expected to hit $145,00 when payroll deduction paperwork is received.

Skinner said the effort to raise $5,000 in the first half of January will focus initially on past donors that haven’t given this year. But word will also be spread on the radio, and the United Way would welcome donations large or small.

Skinner said the charity will be able to pinpoint what parts of their campaign came up short this year, and there will be a ‘post-action’ discussion at January’s board meeting (“Every year it’s done,” she said of the campaign post-mortem).

“The money stays in our community,” said Skinner.

All of the funds raised by United Way are kept local, according to Skinner, differentiating it from national campaigns by some other charities. Residents benefit directly and indirectly from the programs United Way supports.

“It does employ individuals in the community,” she said.

A sizeable portion of the money raised comes from payroll deductions and corporate giving. Skinner said Waldale Maufacturing and PolyCello, along with their employee contributions, are United Way’s two biggest donors. But individual donors make a difference, too.

“They’re very much appreciated,” said the executive director.

Five grand short isn’t a lot. But Skinner said it’s hard on the organizations they support if the United Way has to tell them they’re getting less money. And it’s the executive director’s sense the harsh economic climate is starting to take a toll on individual givers.

“I think it’s getting more difficult,” she said.

esparling@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: United Way

Geographic location: Cumberland County

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