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With less than a week left in the drive, the United Way is at just over 56 percent toward its goal of $1,111,111.

“We are now at $623,292.25 in gifts and pledges,” said Kim Strubberg, executive director.

“Last year at this time, we were at 55.28 percent so we are right on track,” she said. “Many companies have not yet turned in their information so we are still in the waiting game.”

Strubberg said United Way board members and staff are contacting companies this week to get an idea of where company officials anticipate they will be and when they will have their campaign completed.

“We are still getting good vibes,” she said. “Several of our larger donors have not yet sent in their gifts, so we will be reaching out to them as well.”

Strubberg said 14 of the top 30 have turned in their information; however, not all of them are complete.

“Some are still holding special events for their employees,” she noted. “I’m optimistic the goal will be met, but it’s always a nail-biter waiting.”

Be the 1

Strubberg, in a nod to the theme, said it will take every “1” to pitch in as the United Way and its agencies continue to work to improve lives in Franklin County.

This year’s theme is Improving Lives Together — Will You Be the 1 to Help. The United Way is asking people to consider gifts in multiples of 1.

“That might be $11 per month, $111 or $1,011,” said Strubberg. “And it’s not too late to give. The drive ends Oct. 31 and we will be taking donations of any amount until then.”

Money raised will benefit 53 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 65,000 people were touched by these agencies last year.

The campaign got a boost of $2,500 last week from the Union Power of the Purse event. More purse auctions are planned for this spring.

“There were fewer purses and sponsors this year, but a record number of ladies,” Strubberg said. “We are grateful to all who came out and those who contributed to the event.”

Thankful

Whitney Livengood, United Way board president and campaign chair, said the drive is on track, but there’s still work to be done.

“We are thankful that many of our partners in the workplace hold their campaigns up to the very last day possible, in an effort to maximize their results and support for the Franklin County community,” she said. “We are anxiously awaiting totals and reaching out at this time to get a better sense of our total donation dollars.”

Strubberg said she continues to be encouraged by the generosity of the people in Franklin County.

“When we look at everything happening in other areas, we truly live in the best place,” she said.

The United Way drive is the single largest annual fundraiser in the county. It kicked off the first week of September and ends Oct. 31.