High school students canvassed the community Wednesday afternoon, collecting $7,432 for the Franklin County Area United Way drive.

Students from Washington High School and St. Francis Borgia Regional High School participated, according to Kim Strubberg with the United Way.

“We are very pleased with the outcome. The kids did a great job,” Strubberg said. “The volunteer drivers had nothing but compliments for the kids.”

Adult drivers transported the students to different territories in the Washington area.

“The weather also was really nice which was helpful,” Strubberg said.

After the canvass, the students were treated to pizza parties at their respective schools.

Collections are down slightly from last year’s drive which brought in about $9,518 the day of the canvass and another $4,882 with mail-ins in the weeks following. A very large check was collected last year at one of the homes which boosted the total, officials said.

“We hope to bring in several thousand more with mail-ins this year,” Strubberg said.

During the drive, students knocked on doors and asked for a donation. Residents received a United Way brochure listing the 43 agencies and programs supported through the annual campaign. A hanging bag with a return envelope was left if no one was home.

United Way officials are hopeful the envelopes will be returned.

Paula Obermark, United Way executive director, thanked the students and adults for their help this year with the drive which dates back to the late 1950s when the fire whistle was used to signal the start of the drive.

Obermark said the purpose of the drive is the same today as it was then: to reach those residents who may not have the opportunity to participate in a campaign through their workplace.

Obermark encourages residents who were not home during the drive to consider making a donation. Contributions can be mailed to: Franklin County Area United Way, P.O. Box 3, Washington, MO 63090.

“We are asking everyone to help meet this need by donating at least $1. Each dollar will make a difference in someone’s life today,” she said.

The United Way officially kicked off its campaign, the single largest annual fundraiser in Franklin County, earlier this month. The 2012 goal is $1 million, which would be an all-time record.