As displayed by the thermometer sign at Rockmart Highway and Henderson Drive, the United Way of Bartow County recently met its goal of securing $600,000.
“We reached our goal last week when we got finalization of one of our larger manufacturing plants,” said United Way President Brenda Morehouse, adding the United Way’s campaign has generated $610,000. “... But we’re still scheduling campaigns. We’re still out trying to raise even more money. ... We had some campaigns that did really, really well — better than they’ve ever done. And then we had some campaigns that didn’t do as well as they normally do. ... Overall, we had increased our goal this year by $50,000. So for us to reach it was really good.”Kicked off in late July, the Community Impact Campaign primarily is raising funds through payroll deductions, which enables employees to donate a minimal amount yearlong, with a portion of their paycheck designated to the local United Way.According to http://www.bartowliveunited.org, “The United Way of Bartow County seeks to alleviate the social problems facing our community through fund-raising and equitable disbursement of funds to local charitable organizations. ... United Way of Bartow County seeks to provide adequate funding and guidance for member agencies to:1. Provide for immediate needs of those in crisis situations2. Meet long-term needs through the educational, emotional and moral guidance of children3. Enable financially or physically disabled people to become self-supporting.”Funds raised through the drive will be dispersed, based on need, to United Way’s agencies, which include Allatoona Resource Center, Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter, Bartow County 4-H Club, Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County, Bartow Civil Air Patrol, American Red Cross, Christian League for Battered Women, New Beginnings Food Outreach, The Salvation Army, Good Shepherd Foundation, Bartow Area Habitat for Humanity, Hickory Log Vocational School, North Bartow Community Services, Bartow Health Access, Girl Scouts Division of Bartow County and Advocates for Children.“I think a lot of people don’t really realize what United Way does,” Morehouse said. “United Way originally was called United Givers before it became United Way because it was the very first nonprofit to introduce payroll deduction in the nonprofit world as funding. So it gave people an opportunity to give a small amount out of their paychecks every week.“... It’s so important because it is a totally different type of resource for nonprofits to tap into for funding. So where they might get government funding or they might be able to write grants or they might be able to solicit single donors, this is a whole different animal to them, a whole other resource on where they can get funds. ... We’re so lucky here with our local United Way. We’ve got some really large contributors, such as Shaw, Anheuser-Busch, Publix, Toyo Tire, that all match donations. They give a large corporate donations on top of their annual payroll deduction campaign. So it’s a good resource for nonprofits — one that’s not already being used. So for it to go away would be a whole resource gone for nonprofits.”As Morehouse celebrates United Way’s fundraising achievement, she also currently is promoting the nonprofit’s upcoming Ric Mason Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament. Although the benefit is not scheduled until May 2, the United Way is seeking sponsors and raffle prize donations.For more information about the United Way, call 770-386-1677 or visit http://www.bartowliveunited.org.