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United Way marching toward annual goal

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Campaign already has raised about $386,000

By John Friedlein

jfriedlein@thenewsenterprise.com
The local United Way chapter reported healthy giving in its effort to reach a fundraising goal that is almost 38 percent higher than last year’s.
“Everything has gone extraordinarily well,” said Chris Wilborn, executive director of United Way of Central Kentucky. “We are certainly on track to reverse the trend of the last couple years.”
The Elizabethtown-based organization has raised about $386,000 — 35 percent of its $1.1 million target.
The group collected $922,000 last year. Their goal was $800,000, the lowest in 17 years.
The employment picture in Hardin County has improved recently, but joblessness is still high compared to two years ago. Because much of what  United Way receives in donations is through paychecks, layoffs mean fewer less money raised.
Donations have been a testament to a culture of giving, Wilborn said. This year’s success stories include Mouser Custom Cabinetry, which exceeded its goal by 110 percent, and Metalsa, which topped its 2009 total by 66 percent.
Donations in a tough economy indicate how much people care about one another in this community, Wilborn said.
The United Way campaign typically begins in September. Several large area businesses, such as Akebono, still plan fundraisers in the coming weeks.
“We’ll be pushing hard to reach that $1.1 million figure and beyond at least through the end of the year,” Wilborn said.
Giving to the agency can impact 15 local non-profit groups, including American Red Cross, SpringHaven Domestic Violence Program and North Hardin HOPE.
The agency, which serves Hardin, Grayson, LaRue and Meade counties, trains volunteers to raise money at companies where they work. Also, it is looking for more partnerships with local businesses and will send staff and volunteers to workplaces — to discuss the importance of giving, for instance — while working around a company’s schedule. For more information, call 737-6608.
Donors can give online at www.unitedwayck.org. Also on the site is a video explaining how the money is used.
“No gift is too small,” Wilborn said.
John Friedlein can be reached at (270) 505-1746.