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Withholding a set financial goal appears to be working to United Way of Central Kentucky’s advantage.
The agency has shattered the $1 million mark for the second straight year, collecting $1,003,503.62 as of Monday afternoon with nearly two months left to go before the campaign’s close at the end of February.
Executive Director Chris Wilborn said it is the first time in the organization’s history that back-to-back $1 million campaigns have been organized.
“We’ve just been blessed,” he said. “I guess I shouldn’t be surprised because we live in such a generous community.”
Money raised during the campaign will be distributed to agencies throughout United Way of Central Kentucky’s five-county service region of Breckinridge, Grayson, Hardin, LaRue and Meade counties that demonstrate a desire to tackle one or more of its three areas of interest: Education, income and health.
United Way’s Community Investment team spends hours reviewing each application thoroughly and will hold training next month as the agency shifts focus from fundraising to appropriations, Wilborn said. The agency helps several organizations in Hardin County, including the American Red Cross, the Community Health Clinic of Hardin & LaRue Counties, Helping Hand of Hope and SpringHaven Inc.
The campaign’s early success can be attributed to increases in giving across numerous organizations and companies, including a $100,000 showing from Dow Corning, the first company to break the $100,000 mark, Wilborn said.
Other agencies have had record-breaking years of giving, including more than $66,000 raised by Metalsa and more than $13,000 raised by Lincoln Trail Behavioral Health, said Wilborn.
The Cecilian Bank and First Citizens Bank have raised roughly $42,000 each while UPS has netted around $52,000 through its workforce campaign so far, Wilborn said.
Hardin Memorial Health, meanwhile, is wrapping up its campaign and has generated around $61,000, he said.
Wilborn said he is “completely humbled” by the tremendous response and growth from companies throughout the service area but said he has learned in his nearly three years with the agency that the community responds when a need is identified and an agency proves it is willing to meet that need.
“Nothing surprises me anymore,” he said.
Wilborn said United Way’s goal is to assure each individual within its service area is self-sufficient and did not set a firm financial goal this year to raise standards and focus more on the impact the money creates rather than the amount of money collected.
Wilborn asked residents who never have given to United Way to offer a one-time investment of $10 and called on existing donors to increase giving by either $10 per pay period or 10 percent.
If everyone in the United Way’s five-county service region gave $10, he said, the organization would have around $2 million to distribute to local programs dedicated to assisting the education, income and health needs of their communities.
Wilborn said United Way also would like to meet or exceed $1.1 million because it is the identified need based on grant requests.
He believes the organization is in great shape to meet that goal with the right focus.
“We’ve got some work to do before we get there,” he said. “We’re not there yet.”
Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go to www.unitedwayck.org or send a check to United Way of Central Kentucky, 1111 N. Dixie Ave., Suite 9B, Elizabethtown, KY 42701. For information, contact United Way at (270) 737-6608.