Tannersville, PA — Dozens of people have responded to the United Way of Monroe County’s appeal for help in closing the gap of a projected 33 percent campaign shortfall. Now, with only two weeks to go in this year’s campaign, the local United Way is reissuing its appeal to the community, so funding isn’t cut to more than 30 health and human service programs.
“We are so grateful to all the people who have come forward to help us,” said United Way Campaign Co-Chair George Roberts. “We have had several new donors, while other current donors have increased or added to their pledge,” said fellow Campaign Co-Chair Connie Roberts.
Just this month, the annual campaign has grown from about 50 percent to 60.6 percent of its $1.2 million goal, with $727,690 raised to date. But if the additional money is not raised, there will be about one third less funds to meet the increasing needs of more than 20 partner agencies the United Way helps support.
A press conference was held a couple weeks ago to address the seriousness of the situation, which United Way Board President Curtis Rogers described as a “crisis.” Quality of life for the county’s most vulnerable residents will be impacted, affecting many programs that supply food, shelter and emergency assistance.
“We thank everyone who has helped so far, but we still need more generosity and goodwill this holiday season to reach our goal,” Rogers said. “If everyone in the county donated just $5 or $10, we would close our campaign shortfall.”
Rogers pointed out that even local school children are doing their part. Many students from Pocono Mountain School District’s elementary schools attended the Dec. 7 campaign meeting to proudly present their donations, knowing they were helping those in need. Students raised money in creative ways, such as through penny drives, a dance with the school mascot and by selling Smencils (smelly pencils).
Like many other nonprofits in the area and across the nation, the United Way of Monroe County has been affected by the continuing recession, job losses and downsizing, local business closures, other capital campaigns, and rising consumer prices coupled with wage freezes. Many previous donors are now actually in need themselves.
“We are counting on the proven generosity of the Monroe County community to help our neighbors in need,” stated George Roberts. “It’s all about making a difference in someone’s life and giving them a hand up,” said Connie Roberts.
Donors can make a gift online at www.unitedwaymonroe.org or make a $10 donation by texting MONROE to 50555. Checks can be mailed to the United Way office in Tannersville.
Donations should be made before the end of the year and are tax-deductible. Besides personal gifts, other ways to give include corporate contributions, workplace campaigns, memorial gifts and special events.
The next public meeting of the 2011 United Way campaign is set for Wednesday, Dec. 21, at 8 a.m. at Northampton Community College’s Monroe campus. For more information on getting involved, visit www.unitedwaymonroe.org or call 570-629-5657. Donations can be sent to the United Way of Monroe County, P.O. Box 790, Tannersville, PA 18372.
About the United Way of Monroe County
The United Way of Monroe County provides health and human services through community initiatives and funding to 33 local programs. Its targeted need areas include Engaging Youth, Meeting Basic Needs, Helping Children Succeed and Promoting Self-Sufficiency. “Live United” is part of the United Way’s mission of giving, advocating and volunteering to produce lasting changes in the community and advance the common good.