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December 16, 2014

The 2014 United Way campaign has hit the home stretch with its $1 million milestone goal within reach. Nearly $900,000 has been pledged to date with projected estimates taking giving totals near the target level.

“If this were a horse race, it would be a photo finish – too close to call,” said Dave Bezusko, United Way’s Campaign & Public Relations Director.

Volunteers are working to finish strong, asking those who have not yet made a gift to consider doing so and encouraging the dozen local workplaces that have not yet wrapped up their fundraising efforts to turn in their reports. The $1 million goal represents a 4% increase over last year’s record totals, which exceeded $960,000.

“At this point in the campaign, we encourage people to make a year-end gift which would not only allow us to reach our goal, but more importantly to meet the needs of our Partner Agencies here in the county,” said Mike Rose, United Way’s Campaign Chair.

Money given to United Way stays in Union County to support its mission to bring neighbors and resources together to improve lives. A single gift supports six pantries, four senior centers, two shelters, an after-school youth center, a homeless prevention program, disaster relief, prescription medication, hospice care, cancer support, youth activities, and more.

Workplace giving is up nearly 5% this year, with 13 businesses already surpassing the $10,000 plateau. United Way’s top three corporate supporters, Honda of America, Mfg.; Scotts Miracle-Gro; and Nationwide all report increases from last year. Meijer, a newcomer to the local giving scene, raised over $13,000 in its first local campaign. Other employers achieving $10,000 or more to date include Nestle Product Technology Center, Memorial Health, Marysville Schools, Richwood Banking Company, the State of Ohio (including the Ohio Reformatory for Women), Veyance Technologies, the City of Marysville, Union County Department of Job & Family Services, and Industrial Ceramic Products.

Giving via direct mail is at an all-time high. And United Way has also benefitted from four special events this fall that have brought in an additional $51,000, including the All Ohio Balloon Fest, an Online Auction, the Honor Our Heroes Quarter Marathon/5K, and the LIVE UNITED Radiothon on True Oldies 1270.

“I’ve been so impressed at how our workplaces and individuals in the county have been so supportive of the campaign,” Rose said. “They see the needs in our community and they appreciate what we’re doing.”

The easiest way to give at this point is online at www.unitedwayofunioncounty.org. Donors could also write a check and mail it to United Way, PO Box 145, Marysville, Ohio, 43040. Donors may choose to designate their gift to a specific Impact Area or a program. In that case, dollars are earmarked specifically for those programs (minus our fundraising and administrative costs, which are currently at 18%, (well below the Better Business Bureau standard of 35%).

United Way works to bring neighbors and resources together to improve lives in Union County. United Way of Union County has raised more than $18 million for local needs since it was established in 1958. More than just a fundraiser, United Way collaborates with local businesses, government, and non-profit organizations to solve pressing social service issues large and small.

For more information, please visit www.unitedwayofunioncounty.org.
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