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United Way still collecting donations for campaign

There is still time for anyone who wants to donate to the United Way’s 2009 campaign. The United Way of the River Cities has extended last year’s campaign through the end of January.

The campaign was originally scheduled to end Dec. 31.

“We weren’t quite where we wanted to be,” said Cassey Bowden, director of resource development and marketing for the organization.

The organization has set a goal of $1.4 million for the campaign. At present, about $781,000, or 56 percent of the goal, has been raised.

Bowden said the United Way has seen a decrease in donations recently as a result of the downturn in the economy.

“We’ve seen a lot of, unfortunately, closures in the five counties we service,” Bowden said. “Organizations that are having furloughs, employees taking pay cuts. We have a lot of different things going on.”

The United Way serves Cabell, Wayne, Lincoln and Mason Counties in West Virginia and Lawrence County in Ohio.

Money raised benefits organizations such as the Huntington Office of the American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Tri-State and the Huntington Area Food Bank.

It also supports the Chesapeake Community Center, City Welfare Mission and the Lawrence County Special Olympics.

A complete list of the organizations the United Way supports can be found on its website, unitedwayrivercities.org/index.html.

Several options exist for those who want to donate to the campaign.

If employed, a person can choose the payroll reduction program in which a gift is taken out of the person’s paycheck on a regular basis.

People can also send checks or make a pledge to donate a gift.

Most recently, the organization has started accepting debit card donations as well as donations directly from a person’s checking account.

For more information, contact the United Way of the River Cities at 304-523-8929 or at its website at unitedwayrivercities.org/index.html.