BY LAUREN HENRY
The last United Way report meeting has passed with only 63 percent of the goal met, and while the campaign is not quite over yet, there is no doubt that the news could be better for the many agencies funded by the annual drive.
Wendy Peay, United Way executive director, said that many companies have informed her that they intend to give their United Way pledge amounts after they run their internal campaigns.
These internal campaigns don't always coincide with the official United Way campaign in the community, Peay said.
That means more money is likely on its way to help the United Way reach its goal of $650,000. But the fact remains that the campaign was $242,512 short of that goal as of Wednesday, when the scheduled "final reports" were given.
The United Way this year was fighting an uphill battle to reach its goal from the onset, Peay said.
A previously large donor, Capital Bank, informed Peay they would not participate in this year's campaign.
The goal amount was already set for the 2012 United Way Campaign when that information became known, she said.
"We basically started $50,000 in the hole," Peay said.
Peay said the annual campaign relies on various company volunteers to raise pledges from employees.
"We appreciate their hard work. We know they have lots of other work to do," Peay said.
The United Way Campaign will officially wrap up when each company that has expressed an interest in donating has been heard from.
Last year, the campaign finished in February, when Parker-Hannifin turned in their pledge numbers.
"I'm optimistic we will be close to where we were last year," Peay said.
She said she does not anticipate having to cut funding to any of the United Way agencies, but she added that "The last couple of years have been pretty tight for everyone."
OPTIMISTIC, BUT ...
Peay remains optimistic based on feedback she has received from other companies still planning to participate in the fundraising campaign.
However, if giving does not near the goal amount, it could possibly affect next year's funding of agencies.
Peay gave a hyopthetial situation in which "We won't be able to allocate as much next year. There will be less to spend. Someone will have to make tough decisions where the money goes."
She said it also depends on how much of the pledges that have been made the campaign is able to collect.
The published campaign numbers are based on pledges of contributions rather than collected money.
Peay said she will continue to provide updates on where the campaign stands, even though there will be no more official report meetings.
UNITED WAY AGENCIES
The agencies that receive funding from the United Way of Greene County are, in alphabetical order: the American Red Cross; Appalachian Council, Girl Scouts; the Boys & Girls Club of Greeneville & Greene County; CASA of Northeast Tennessee; CHIPS Family Violence Shelter; the Child Advocacy Center of the 3rd Judicial District; The Children's Center; CONTACT Ministries; Family Resource Center of Greene County Schools; Family Support Center of Greeneville City Schools; Foster Grandparents Program; Frontier Health-Nolachuckey-Holston Area Mental Health Center; Greene County Cancer Program; Greeneville-Greene County Community Ministries/Food Bank; Greeneville Emergency & Rescue Squad; Literacy Council; Mountain Region Speech & Hearing Center; Opportunity House; Personal Support Services; RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program); Sequoyah Council, Boy Scouts of America; Tennessee Poison Center; Tennessee Rehabilitation Center; and YMCA Scholarships.
For more information, please call the United Way office at 639-9361.