Franklin County United Way

The Franklin County Area United Way campaign officially ended Thursday, but pledges and donations are still coming in as companies wrap up in-house drives.

As of Friday morning, the campaign was at 75 percent of its $1.2 million goal with an estimated $900,000 pledged.

That total includes some verbal estimates and preliminary numbers from companies, said Kim Strubberg, executive director.

“While I’m still cautiously optimistic we will make it, we are making one last appeal to anyone who has not yet donated, to please consider a gift of any size,” she said. “With corporate reports still coming in, it’s too early to know where we will end.”

Strubberg said less than half of the Top 30 corporate contributors have submitted final reports.

The official campaign total will be announced Wednesday, Nov. 13. Allocations to agencies will then be determined in January.

Strubberg said last year at this time, she was very confident the goal would be met and possibly exceeded.

“It’s a completely different story this year,” she said. “The United Auto Workers strike has had an impact here and some of our top companies are down for a number of reasons, including retirements,” she said. “But, we also have some great success stories with businesses who have really increased their donations. It’s been a very mixed bag this year.”

Nadine Aitch, United Way board president and campaign co-chair, said she’s “hopeful” that with the continued support of previous donors, as well as those who are new to the United Way, the goal will be met.

“As we always stress, every dollar makes a difference, and that’s where we are,” she said. “Each and every year, there is a sense of urgency as we get down to these final days of the campaign.

“But I am confident through the great supporters of the Franklin County United Way, we will meet that goal so we can ensure continued assistance to those in need. Year after year, the patrons of Franklin County have made that a reality.”

The campaign, the single largest annual fundraising drive in the county, kicked off the first week of September and officially concluded Oct. 31.

Money raised in this year’s campaign will benefit 53 area agencies and programs, which provide health and human services that strengthen families, nurture and protect children, assist the elderly and disabled, and provide emergency assistance.

Strubberg said over 70,000 people were touched by these agencies last year.

Donations can still be mailed to the United Way, P.O. Box 3, Washington, MO 63090, or made online. People also can call the office at 636-239-1018 to donate.