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United Way scraping to reach 2002 goal

The victory dinner’s only a few days away, but the United Way’s still collecting.

Thursday, January 24, 2002

The victory dinner’s only a few days away, but the United Way’s still collecting.

As of this week, the charitable agency had only collected about 98 percent of its goal, reflecting a Jan. 22 total of $1,863,241.87, officials said.

The goal is to raise $1.9 million by Jan. 28, the end of the campaign.

"We’ve had a lot of momentum the last couple of years," said Jim Barrett of Firstar, the Lawrence County chair of the United Way of the River Cities campaign.

But this year, the growing economic recession and the national emergency felt since Sept. 11 has taken a toll on donations, Barrett said.

As the year began, United Way in Lawrence County volunteers had raised $96,596.31, or about 64 percent of their $150,000 goal.

That collection’s now up to about 68 percent, and the Lawrence County group hopes to improve that by Jan. 28, he said.

"A lot of people are volunteering We’re still out working at it," Barrett said.

People are finding it difficult to focus on the United Way campaign with the many funds that have already spurred giving, but the agency still has hope of meeting its goal, he said.

If you’ve forgotten, it’s still not too late to contact the United Way, he added.

This campaign’s slogan, "What if everyone gave $1 more each month?," has prompted many to consider just that, organizers said.

United Way of the River Cities, Inc. is a non-profit organization designed to raise funds for human service agencies in the most economical manner possible, to identify community needs and to find ways of efficiently meeting those needs.

Since 1922, United Way of the River Cities has been orchestrating community planning, fundraising, distribution of funds and public awareness of services offered by United Way’s 39 member agencies. United Way’s 39 member agencies provide services in Cabell, Wayne, Lincoln and Mason counties in West Virginia and Lawrence County, Ohio.

Among other things in the Tri-State, the United Way helps fund the Red Cross, Big Brothers-Big Sisters, Boy Scouts Simon Kenton Council in Portsmouth, the Chesapeake Community Center, Ironton City Mission, medical outreach clinics and counseling agencies across the area, food banks, Girl Scouts, Special Olympics Lawrence County, the Well Child Clinic in Ironton, and others.

To contact the United Way of the River Cities call locally, 740-532-2700, or 304-523-8929. Email: uwriver@aol.com; or visit the Web site at http://www.uwriver.org/