United Way fund drive starts off on a high note Friday
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Hopkins County United Way Board President Cathy Chitwood (standing, left) helps Deanna landers, Hopkins County United Way  Campaign Chairman, hand out candy to volunteers (seated, left to right) Keith Daniels, Judy Tipping and James Law at the United Way’s  2005-2006 fundraising campaign kickoff luncheon today at  Best Western Trail Dust Inn’s Heritage Hall. HCUW raised its goal this year, adding $5,000 for a 2005-2006 campaign goal of $135,000.  The money will benefit 16 local organizations devoted to helping families and children in the area.
Staff Photo By Angela Pitts

Oct. 2, 2005 -- Hopkins County United Way kicked off its annual month-long fund raising campaign on a high note Friday, with Campaign Chairman Deanna Landers encouraging workers to visit the agencies assisted by the local drive.

�With all your help, I know we�ll be able to reach our goal,� Landers told workers during the 2005 kickoff luncheon at Heritage Hall at Best Western Trail Dust Inn. �I am excited. I�ve been going to agencies. If you want to get excited too, go to Our Place or the Meal-a-Day Center, or any of the others. They need your donations to work. My donation and yours personally are a drop in the bucket for the campaign collection. But it all adds up.�

Both Landers and HCUW President Cathy Chitwood expressed pride in living in a community which gives so generously to help those less fortunate receive the aid they need.

Landers noted that of the 15 agencies being allocated a portion of this year’s $135,000 campaign goal, “some are almost 100 percent funded by United Way. They are very grateful.”

Chitwood noted that United Way supports agencies which offer varied services, such as those helping meet elderly people’s needs, health care, food pantries, education, victims of violence, those with addictions and more.

Hopkins County Community Action Network’s “vital contribution” in Hurricane Katrina and Rita relief efforts were also noted. The agency, through its 2-1-1 number, not only helped put local evacuees in contact with the agencies and services they needed, but also acted as a backup to the busy call systems in Houston and Dallas, Chitwood said.

HCCAN has been designated to receive $9,000 from the current campaign.

Chitwood also pointed out that almost all of the funds raised through the campaign stay in the community to assist local residents, with the exception of $1,350 which HCUW submits to United Way of America for its participation in the national organization. Another $14,000 goes to the Hopkins County United Way for supplies and utilities, campaign materials and the cost of a part time secretary to keep up with those items during the campaign and throughout the year.

Last year, the campaign was extended while campaign funds continued to trickle in. At the end of the drive, enough funding was collected to give each recipient agency an additional $1,000 above the original allocation, according to HCUW Executive Secretary Charlotte Henderson.

�Hopkins County is one of the best places in the world to live in. I�m proud to live here and be a part of it,� Landers said. �I�m excited and ready to get busy and make United Way a success.�

Landers and Chitwood reiterated this year’s theme of “Stepping Out, Reaching Out the United Way!” by challenging the campaign workers to collectively step up to the plate and reach out to those in the community in need of a helping hand through the campaign.

The noon meeting closed with workers receiving collection packets to be distributed throughout the community. Workers will begin weekly report meetings Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 9:30 a.m. at Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce. Meetings will follow at 9:30 a.m. each Wednesday in October at the Chamber offices.

Agencies designated to receive funding from this year’s $135,000 campaign are: Our Place, $4,000; Meal-A-Day Center, $5,000; Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center Inc., $4,500; Heritage Outreach Ministry Foundation, $3,000; Boys and Girls Club of Sulphur Springs, $5,000; Hopkins County Child Protective Services, $4,000; Lake Country Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, $9,000; Family Haven, $4,000; Ministerial Alliance Community Cupboard, $10,000; North East Texas Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, $2,000; HCCAN, $9,000; Girl Scouts, $2,500; Teen Court, $1,150; 4-H Club, $2,500; and Community Chest, $54,000.

Boy Scouts and Terrific Tuesday are two agencies which previously benefited from United Way but are not included on this year’s recipient list because they did not apply for funds from HCUW, Henderson noted.

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