Campaign kicks off

The United Way of Northeast Mississippi has kicked off its 2014 fundraising campaign by setting a goal of $2,425,000, which is $25,000 more than last year’s goal.

The campaign got a quiet start this year as the United Way helped distribute school supplies and backpacks to children throughout the region.

In Union County, that has meant the United Way has lent a hand to Baptist Memorial Hospital’s already successful annual Back to School Health Fair, which occurs this Saturday at the hospital.

The United Way campaign will run until approximately the end of December and the funds will be distributed to health and human service agencies next March.

United Way officials are hopeful of a better campaign here in Union County than last year. In March $60,525 was distributed to agencies serving our county. That number is down more than 20 percent from the prior year.

Although the overall campaign met its $2.4 million goal, the amount of money available for distribution in Union County is based on money contributed locally.

The largest benefactors of the distribution this year were the Good Samaritan Food Pantry with $15,000, the Boys & Girls Club with $10,000, New Haven Center $9,000, and Agape Health Services free clinic with $8,500. Twenty other agencies shared the rest.

A committee of Union County residents interviews the agencies and gathers information to make the funding decisions.

Perhaps this year’s campaign will have a better result for the agencies that serve Union County. As we’ve said before, it depends on giving and contributions levels are not high for a county of this size. We can do better.