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Archive for Wednesday, January 22, 2003

United Way, Chamber to recognize charitable firms

January 22, 2003

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Douglas County businesses have another reason to support area charitable causes -- a new award sponsored by the United Way of Douglas County and the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce.

Area businesses have until Jan. 31 to apply for the newly-created Spirit of Caring Award.

The award will honor three Douglas County businesses -- a large, medium and small size firm -- that post significant increases in the amount of money they give to charitable causes in the county or the amount of time its employees donate to charitable organizations.

Colleen Gregoire, campaign and communications manager for the United Way, said this year is an especially appropriate year to begin the award.

"I think it has been particularly challenging this past year for everyone to keep up their charitable giving because of the economy," Gregoire said. "But we're still seeing some increases, and we think that's something that should be recognized."

Application forms are available at either the United Way offices, 2518 Ridge Court, or the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce office, 734 Vt.

The award winners will be announced at the chamber's annual meeting on April 11.

The United Way had approximately 240 area businesses and organizations that donated to its fund-raising campaign in 2002.

Gregoire said she hopes the award will give some positive recognition to all the businesses that donate to the campaign.

"We're hoping it really will promote the awareness of what our businesses do to support the element in our community that needs extra help," Gregoire said.

"We just think those businesses who put out the extra effort to help our children and our elderly and our disabled should receive some special recognition."

Twenty-eight agencies in three categories receive funding from United Way of Douglas County. They are:

Health services -- Douglas County AIDS Project, American Red Cross, Health Care Access, Hospice Care, Trinity Respite Care and Douglas County Visiting Nurses Assn.

Character-building agencies -- Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Boy Scouts of America, Boys and Girls Clubs, Camp Fire Boys and Girls, Girl Scouts and Van Go Mobile Arts

Human services -- Social Service League, Women's Transitional Care Services, Housing and Credit Counseling, Independence Inc., Pelathe Community Resource Center, Penn House, Salvation Army, Douglas County Child Development Assn., Douglas County Legal Aid Society, Douglas County Rape Victim Survivor Service, Headquarters Counseling Center, Arc of Douglas County, Ballard Community Center, Brookcreek Learning Center, Court Appointed Special Advocates and Catholic Community Services

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