Archive for Saturday, November 15, 2008

United Way’s official campaign wraps up

Agency, dependent partners grateful for donations all year

Registered Physical Therapist Holly Emmot, of Douglas County Visiting Nurses, Rehabilitation and Hospice Care, works with Rosie Cain at Cain's home near Linwood. VNA is one of 25 nonprofit agencies that gets funding from the United Way of Douglas County.

Registered Physical Therapist Holly Emmot, of Douglas County Visiting Nurses, Rehabilitation and Hospice Care, works with Rosie Cain at Cain's home near Linwood. VNA is one of 25 nonprofit agencies that gets funding from the United Way of Douglas County.

November 15, 2008


United Way's official campaign wraps up

The United Way of Douglas County's fall fundraising campaign ended today, but it doesn't mean the giving will end. Enlarge video

The United Way of Douglas County's official fall fundraising campaign ended Friday, but that doesn't mean the giving will stop.

The organization set a campaign goal of $1.72 million and hopes to increase Douglas County residents' participation from 6.5 percent to 10 percent. The United Way has received about half of the pledges from area employee campaigns as of Friday.

"We still have many companies that are conducting their campaigns, and I think that will happen until the end of December," said 2008 campaign chairwoman Judy Wright. "So, yes, it is officially the end of the campaign, but people are still making pledges toward their United Way gifts, and we're very excited about that."

Pledge information from donors who participate in their workplace campaign in either Topeka or Kansas City will be received in early January. The slogan for this fall's campaign was "United Way begins with U" to encourage more people to give.

The United Way has made efforts to reach businesses and residents not previously involved with campaigns.

"We're not asking (businesses) to give more than they have in the past, but we're asking more people to give," Wright said.

Contributions to the campaign will be allocated to 25 United Way partner agencies in spring 2009. Agencies include Big Brothers Big Sisters, Douglas County AIDS Project and Meals on Wheels.

Meals on Wheels serves 129 people in Lawrence and delivers 120 meals each day. Executive director Kim Culliss said the organization receives just a little more than $27,000 from the United Way.

"It is a large chunk of our budget," she said.

In 38 years, Meals on Wheels has never turned away a person in need, Culliss said. She has recently seen a "huge increase" in the number of people the organization delivers meals to and expects the number to grow because of hard times.

Another partner agency, Douglas County Visiting Nurses, Rehabilitation and Hospice Care (VNA), receives about $95,000 from the United Way each year. VNA provides care to ill or disabled people to allow them to remain in their homes, and offers therapy and hospice services.

Clinical manager Janet Cairns said funding from the United Way is extremely important for VNA.

"It allows us to never turn down a referral," she said. VNA receives funding from private donors and Douglas County, as well.

Cairns is also concerned about how the current economy will affect funding.

"We're a very Medicare-dependent agency, and it's always concerning, especially with this economy problem, that ... our Medicare funding could be reduced," she said. "That would be a huge hit for us."


Tom McCune 9 years ago

It should be illegal to bring this into the workplace. If your company has a policy banning "solicitation of employees in the workplace", then next year file a complaint with the HR department for violation of that policy.

Confrontation 9 years ago

Just to update you, Toe, the UW no longer restricts when DG County UW agencies can raise money. There is no longer a blackout period.

Luxor 9 years ago

I would like to know how much money KU spends on promoiting the United Way. The big signs, the stationery, the mail delivery to KU employees, the reminder emails ... it has to add up pretty fast.

labmonkey 9 years ago

Amen toe. Give to the Salvation Army.... or buy a bag of groceries for Harvesters or your local food drive of choice... or buy a toy for Toys for Tots.

Luxor 9 years ago

KU always appoints and official person to badger you into giving in you office. Teh donation box shows up at staff meetings or places where you feel really uncomfortable not giving. That's such crap.Everyone needs to give what they can to the charities they support. I give what I can to the Humane SOciety. People should give, yes. Giving to the UW because your employer has to bully you or their friends in the chamber or on the commission will be upset with them is totally different.Stop giving to the UW. Write a check for anything you can to groups you support instead. Get the UW out of town.

Loretta James 9 years ago

A past volunteer of penn house who is united way funded their black out period was small 2 months i think if my memory is correct. penn house has helped hundreds of thousands during their time thanks to United Way and the residents of Lawrence.As far as donating to Salvation Army the problem i have with that is it is not all kept in douglas county. I want to help people here not all over the United States. But for those that dont want to donate to UW donating to agencys is good to as well as donating food which they can always use.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.