The Franklin County Area United Way is gearing up for its annual door-to-door drive in the Washington area.
Students from both local high schools will canvass the community next Wednesday, Sept. 26, beginning after school into the early evening.
Washington High School students will get started about 2:30 p.m. and continue until 5:30 p.m. and St. Francis Borgia Regional High School students will canvass from 3 to 6 p.m.
Adult volunteers will transport the students to about 40 different
territories within the city limits and several subdivisions just outside Washington, according to Kim Strubberg, United Way resource development associate.
Students will knock on more than 5,000 doors seeking donations for the United Way.
Strubberg said the community canvass helps raise much needed funds and awareness of the United Way campaign, as well as promotes volunteerism among local teens.
The door-to-door drive is a long-standing tradition of the United Way, formerly known as the United Fund and prior to that, the Community Chest. The canvass dates back to the late 1950s when the fire whistle was used to signal the start of the drive.
Strubberg 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.
Residents will receive a United Way brochure listing the 43 agencies and programs supported through the drive. A clear hanging bag with a return envelope and brochure will be left if no one is home.
The students will be wearing United Way T-shirts and name tags and all of the drivers will have placards posted in their front windshields designating them as drivers.
United Way officials encourage residents who are 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.
Strubberg said a donation to the United Way is an investment in the community.
This year’s goal is a record $1 million due to increased needs and as a tribute to outgoing Executive Director Paula Obermark.
“We are asking everyone to help meet this need by donating at least $1,” said Strubberg. “Every dollar will make a difference in someone’s life today.”
The United Way officially kicked off its campaign, the single largest annual fundraiser in Franklin County, earlier this month. It will run through October.
To thank students for their participation, pizza parties are planned at both schools after the drive.
All of the teens who participate will receive a United Way T-shirt, compliments of the campaign sponsors.
Last year’s door-to-door drive brought in over $14,400 including the mail-in donations. Strubberg said the board hopes to meet and even exceed that number this year.
Drivers are still needed to help transport students. Anyone interested is asked to call the United Way office, 636-239-1018.