Fundraising efforts with the United Way this year are in full swing as they work toward their goal of $625,000 for more than 20 partner agencies.
The goal is the same as last year in an attempt to be conservative, according to Drive Chairman Michael Shaw.
“I would rather us be able to allocate more money to our partner organizations,” than not be able to give enough, Shaw said.
This year’s slogan, “It takes a village to Live United,” is a personal favorite for Shaw, as he came up with it.
“We take care of each other,” Shaw said. “It really highlights who we are as a community.”
Shaw added that he believes this is especially relevant with the ongoing storm recovery. Citizens have recovered what they could of their belongings, but these agencies will continue helping them into the future.
“Now it’s about rebuilding their lives,” Shaw said.
Audrey Seeliger, executive director of United Way of Pottawatomie County, said she is “hopeful” for fundraising efforts this year.
“One pledge helps provide services all year long,” she said. “No matter how small – it all adds up.”
Shaw agreed, adding that 99 percent of the money stays in Pottawatomie County, and of that, 89 percent goes into programs.
“There’s very little administrative costs,” he said.
“Ninety percent of the money – or 90 cents out of every dollar – goes back into this community,” Shaw said. “I think that’s a pretty powerful statement.”
The United Way campaign is paying special attention to serving the youth this year, Shaw added.
“It sounds cliché, but they are the future,” he said.
As an extension of that, Shaw encouraged people to mentor and volunteer at the agencies.
“It doesn’t have to be money,” he said. “It can be time and volunteerism.”
“Your money is important, but your time is invaluable,” Shaw said.