Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

August 2, 2013

United Way sets $2 million goal

Annual campaign ups target by $125,000

Abbie Smith said her 6-year-old daughter recently lost some baby teeth, so the tooth fairy delivered her a few dollars.

What did she do with the money? She donated it to the United Way of Howard County.

That’s something Smith, president and CEO of the organization, said she hopes everyone will do this year to help the group raise $2 million and meet its 2013 fundraising goal.

Last year, the organization set a $1.875 million target, but decided to up it this year after donors helped exceed that goal by $9,000.

Smith said the $2 million target is aggressive, but she believes the community will pull through to raise the money.

“It’s definitely doable, but it’s a stretch,” she said. “But we’re a two-million-dollar city. We have that need.”

The campaign officially starts Sept. 5 with the annual labor lunch at local UAW No. 292 and the campaign kickoff dinner at Pastarrific Italian Restaurant and Casa Bella.

The campaign slogan this year is “Give From Your Heart,” and campaign chair Kathy Young, who also serves as president and CEO of St. Joseph Hospital, said she wants donors to feel empowered to change their community.

“We’re asking the question, ‘What are you passionate about?’” Young said. “What stirs your heart? Making sure no child in our community goes to bed hungry? Healing the sick and comforting those in pain? You can do all this and so much more when you support United Way. United Way is a powerful engine for advancing the common good in Howard County.”

Smith said every donation counts, and will help reach the $2 million goal. Even if it’s just donating a few dollars like her daughter did with her Tooth Fairy money, Smith said it will make a positive impact in the county.

“Every little bit counts,” Smith said. “It really, really does. It’s not just a trite saying. It takes the whole community to do this.”

Funds raised by the annual campaign will be used to support 16 local partner agencies and 30 of their social service programs, as well as United Way’s efforts in the areas of education, income and health.

Carson Gerber is can be reached at 765-854-6739, or carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com.

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