United Way closes campaign at 86 percent of its goal

Published 9:15 am Tuesday, April 7, 2015

After a valiant effort to meet the 2015 campaign goal, the Elizabethton/Carter County United Way finished out the campaign year collecting 86 percent of the $160,000 goal.

The 2015 campaign closed on March 31 with the United Way collecting around $138,300, United Way Director Cheri Tinney said. That number could continue to increase as some money from fundraisers and pledges continue to come in over the next few weeks.

“Given everything that has happened, 86 percent is a good finish,” Tinney said. “Over the past two months we have seen such a huge turnout from the community and everyone has worked really hard to help us reach our goal.”

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During this campaign year, the United Way experienced a shift in leadership twice that brought Tinney to the director’s position mid-campaign.

“Under the circumstances, we had a very slow start and a transition in staff,” United Way Board of Directors Chairwoman Candy Craig said. “I’m pleased with how the campaign came out. We had to work hard on the back end to make up the difference.”

At the start of the new year, the United Way announced that only 43 percent of the goal had been collected with less than three months left in the campaign. The United Way hosted fundraisers and reached out to the community to help them collect the funding they needed for the agencies that depend on the United Way for funding for services.

Agencies for the 2015 campaign are Adult Day Services, American Red Cross, Assistance and Resource Ministries, Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton, Personal Support Service, Contact Ministries, Elizabethton Senior Citizens Center, Sequoyah Council Boy Scouts and the Neighborhood Service Center.

With around 86 percent of the goal raised, the supported agencies will receive close to 86 percent of the amount designated for them. This amount is almost what the agencies received last year, Tinney said.

“Last year, the agencies received around 88 percent and it was a smaller goal than we had this year,” she said.

The executive committee of the board of directors will meet this week to finalize details for how the campaign balance will be distributed among the agencies.

One thing the past few months have demonstrated is the community support out there for the United Way, Tinney said.

“The support that came in, and is still coming in, is amazing,” she said. “We receive letters from the community telling us they support us and they send in contributions with those.”

The United Way will now be focusing on next year’s campaign and making plans for that goal.

“Next year is going to be a good year,” Craig said. “This will give us, and Cheri, an opportunity to do what is best for the community and for our agencies.”

One of the goals for the next year is to expand the United Way’s presence in Carter County and to bring more people onto the board of directors.

“We are going to look at how we can move forward,” Tinney said. “We only have room to grow and to increase participation.”

The next event for the United Way is the Week of Caring starting June 15, followed by the Stars and Stripes annual race on July 3.Un