United Way Gets Jump On Goal Of Raising $1.7M In Campaign
By REBECCA HOEFFNER
The United Way of Smith County announced the kickoff of its annual campaign on Wednesday, with a goal of $1.7 million.
"We're optimistic that the community of Tyler will rally around the campaign effort, Reece Anderson, the 2012-2013 campaign director, said.
While the organization didn't reach its goal last year, more than $766,545 was raised this year from corporate sponsors at the event.
The theme for this year's campaign is "think local, give local," an idea that many people may not understand is at the heart of the United Way's mission, Nan Moore, president, said.
"We want the message to go out to Smith County that the money you give here, stays here," she said.
The United Way supports 32 nonprofits in Smith County. Last year, 64,000 people were helped through those nonprofits -- one in three people, Anderson said. In 2010, 53,000 were reached.
"The need is increased," Anderson said.
This year, the organization has made an effort to include more Smith County businesses in its cause.
"We have new relationships with companies across Smith County to join us in 'living united,'" Anderson said.
Many companies also encourage their employees to have donations to the United Way deducted from their paychecks.
"The backbone of the United Way is that individual people can give a few dollars a week and really make a difference," board chairman Joey Seeber said.