The formal part of the 2002 United Way Campaign ended on Nov. 21, but the effort to meet this year's goal will go on for some time, as it will be early spring before we receive all the donations and pledges. In mid- January we hope to be able to project a total that will allow us to fully fund the 29 United Way agencies for this next year. Between now and then, however, there is a lot of work to be done!
Some companies are still conducting a campaign among their employees; self-employed professionals often wait until the end of the calendar year to make a commitment, and many individuals determine their charitable contributions between now and the new year.
All of these efforts will be critical to the success of this year's campaign!
It has been our privilege to chair this campaign. Fund raising is not something either of us relishes. However, as we became acquainted with the critical needs of many of the citizens of Douglas County and the tremendous efforts of the various United Way agencies to assist them, we became enthusiastically committed to the task of making this year's goal.
Last year, the United Way fell short of its $1,462,600 goal due to the impact of the Sept. 11 tragedy and the economic woes that followed. This year we have the same goal with economic difficulties continuing to challenge our efforts to meet the human service needs in Douglas County. We are not yet there, but the preliminary figures at the end of the formal campaign give us hope that we can make the goal this year!
Reports from other United Way campaigns indicate that many are falling as much as 30 percent short of their goals. But Douglas County has always demonstrated that it is different and that it can buck the trends in other parts of the state. Many of our citizens, businesses and corporations have already done so by meeting or exceeding their last year's contribution. For those organizations and residents of Douglas County who have not yet done so, we urge them to complete a pledge card or write a check and send it to the Douglas County United Way Office at 2518 Ridge Ct., Lawrence 66046. In doing so, we will ensure that all of us will have an even more joyous holiday season.