United Way ahead of 2005 pace
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Hopkins County United Way campaign workers (left to right) Pansy Bell with Hopkins County Regional Civic Center, Joel Jackson with Guaranty Bond Bank, and HCUW President Deanna Landers listen with anticipation as HCUW Executive Secretary Charlotte Henderson (right) announces the total donations collected thus far for the campaign.

Staff Photo by Angela Pitts

Oct. 17, 2006 - Hopkins County United Way is already ahead of last year’s fund raising pace, according to HCUW President Deanna Landers and Executive Secretary Charlotte Henderson.

Last year, only about $8,000 had been turned in as of the third week in October, but more than twice that amount had already been collected as of the first report meeting, held this morning at the Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce offices.

The $19,057 collected so far represents 14 percent of HCUW’s $140,000 campaign goal, Henderson said.

Landers filled in for campaign chairman Bob Weaver this week. Weaver was with his son, who had to have surgery due to a sports injury.

Landers praised Weavers’ tireless efforts, saying he was “working 24 hours a day” on the HCUW campaign, all with enthusiam and cheer, which “put the ‘fun’ in fund raising.”

All campaign workers present reported getting all of their packets distributed, with many businesses and industries continuing to meet their goals. The only packets which have come back empty are those from businesses which have not in the past supported the campaign, workers reported.

Judy Tipping noted that Sulphur Springs Independent School District packets were still out, but that they had extended their collection deadline for district employees until after the next pay period later in the month.

Donna Wallace reported that Dr. Longino’s office not only donated, but had a donation check ready for her when she arrived with his packet. She also noted that donations from Hopkins County Memorial Hospital staff should be ready for the next report meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 24, at 9:30 a.m. at the Chamber of Commerce.

She said some doctors had yet to turn in their packets, mainly due to physicians being out of town, but that they, too, should be ready soon.

The medical-surgical clinic’s on-site HCUW collections coordinator was noted to be “trying some new things” to bolster donations from its employees.

The campaign worker who distributed a packet to Popeyes said that the owner indicated they would not be able to give this year due to low business, which may even force the restaurant to close. She said while he was unable to use the HCUW collections packet, he did reach into his own pocket and give a $20 donation, despite financial difficulties of his own.

�Now that�s stepping up� and going over the fence for United Way,� Landers said, referring back to this year�s theme to �Hit One Over the Fence For Hopkins County United Way.�

Pilot Club also was noted to have “hit one over” for United Way by meeting its $500 club goal and “still batting” for more donations.

Guaranty Bond Bank also had turned in its contributions packet already, according to Lynda Hager.

Campaign worker Cathy Chitwood also noted that all four local banks — Alliance, City National, Guaranty Bond and Community — are partnering together as “United Banks Working for United Way” to share the cost of a hamburger cookout this Friday, Oct. 20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the parking lot between City National Bank and Alliance Bank just off the downtown square. She encouraged all workers to come and bring a friend, and extended the invitation to other members of the community to have a burger with all the fixings, a drink and dessert for a donation of $5 or more. Since the banks are underwriting all of the cost for the hamburger fundraiser, 100 percent of the proceeds will go directly to HCUW.

According to Henderson, roughly 7,000 people benefit from Hopkins County United Way. That’s about 22.5 percent of Hopkins County’s population, Pansy Bell noted.

�That�s a really big benefit to Hopkins County,�� Landers noted. �I can think of no other way to get as much bang for your buck, as they say, as much good for your money, than United Way. So many Hopkins County people are generous and giving, and we are thankful for their support, which helps so many people.�

Based on information submitted by each agency to HCUW’s budget and allocations committee, Hopkins County Community Action Network, which as been designated to receive $8,000 this year, served about 300 people last year in addition to handling about 6,000 phone calls on its 211 system during Hurricane Katrina. 

Northeast Texas Food Bank, which will benefit from $5,000, served about 500, including through other agencies like Meal-A-Day, which served 126 meals per day for a total of 32,806 total meals served last year. Meal-A-Day has been designated to receive $5,000 from HCUW. Community Chest, which served 2,149 people last year will receive $54,000 this year from United Way. Hopkins County Christian Alliance, which served 406 people last year, will receive $10,000 from HCUW.

Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center was allocated $4,500. Last year, 170 children were served at NETCAC. Lake County Court Appointed Special Advocated for children, known as CASA, served 153 children last year. CASA was designated $9,000 of this year’s campaign. Child welfare or Hopkins County Child Protective Services was designated $4,000 this year. Last year, the agency benefited 58 local children.

Boys & Girls Club last year benefited 730 students, and its after-school programs continue to grow this year, making the $5,000 it’s been designated to receive from HCUW that much more important.

About 200 girls last year participated in Girl Scouts, which has been designated $2,500 by HCUW this year.

4-H clubs served 400 local youth last year, and will receive $2,600 from HCUW to continue youth programs.

Teen Court, which served 115 Hopkins County youth last year, was allocated $1,500.

Heritage Outreach Ministry Foundation provided mental health benefits to 270 people in our community last year. Heritage Outreach was designated $3,500 to continue those efforts this year. Northeast Texas Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse served 2,030 people last year. HCUW allocated the foundation $2,500 to help continue providing substance abuse education, intervention and treatment services. Family Haven assisted 482 victims of domestic and sexual assaults. They will receive $3,000 from HCUW to continue the 24 hour crisis intervention services.

Our Place provided 24 mentally challenged adults through its day program which included exercise, computer classes, cooking, shopping and field trips. HCUW allocated $4,000 to Our Place to help support that program.

Overall, that’s more than 7,700 individuals assisted by agencies supported in part with funds from the annual Hopkins County United Way campaigns.

�We�re off to a good start, but we have to keep going,� Landers said. �These agencies are depending on us.�

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